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There have been animal studies suggesting that CLA (short for conjugated linoleic acid) can enhance fat loss and improve glucose levels. It is unclear if CLA has the same effects in humans. This study examined the effects of CLA supplementation (4 g/day) for 8 weeks in healthy, young men. To test the effects of CLA, subjects had a glucose tolerance test performed before and after supplementation. Using the glucose and insulin responses to the test, an index of insulin sensitivity was calculated. Results showed that CLA supplementation led to a reduction in fasting insulin and improvements in insulin sensitivity. The results suggest that CLA improves insulin sensitivity and thus might be particularly useful for people with glucose intolerance or type II diabetes.

Eyjolfson V, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity in young, sedentary humans. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 36:814-820, 2004.