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CLA Sheds Body Fat

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a special type of fat that is found in small quantities in beef and dairy products. Supplementation with CLA has been shown in some short-term studies to reduce body fat. A recent study examined the effects of CLA on body fat over a one year period. Overweight men and women were randomly assigned in a double-blind fashion to receive either 4.5 g of CLA (50:50 mixture of cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers) in fatty acid and triglyceride form or a placebo (olive oil). Body composition (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) was assessed before and after one year of supplementation to assess fat mass and lean body mass. Both groups that received CLA had greater fat loss than the placebo group. CLA also resulted in significant increases in lean body mass compared to placebo. This study supports the use of CLA as a nutrient partitioning agent. That is, it partitions nutrients away from fat storage and toward accumulation in lean tissue.

Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):1118-25.