Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
is a special type of fat that is found in small quantities in beef and dairy products.
Supplementation with CLA
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
a nutrient partitioning agent. That is, it partitions nutrients away from fat storage and toward accumulation in lean
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.