CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a group of isomers of linoleic acid found in meat and dairy products. Conjugated linoleic acid is an isomer of linoleic acid.
In 1979, researchers at the University of Wisconsin investigated the properties of beef meat extract, which was applied to the skin of mice, after which the skin was exposed to powerful carcinogens. As a result, it was found that beef meat extract reduced the incidence of tumors by 20%. This meant that antitumor substances were present in the extract, which turned out to be CLA, identified only in 1987, by the scientist Michael Pariza. Known for their anti-carcinogenic properties, CLA is also able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as have an anti-inflammatory effect.
In recent years, CLA has found wide application in bodybuilding. It is assumed that they are able to reduce the amount of subcutaneous fat and increase the percentage of dry muscle mass. More than 30 clinical studies have been devoted to the study of the effect of conjugated linoleic acid on body weight. They used different doses and regimens of administration. As a result, a meta-analysis of the results in 2007 showed that CLA has a negligible effect on fat mass and practically does not affect muscle growth.
In July 2008, conjugated linoleic acid was approved by the FDA, so in the United States it can be freely added to food as a food component.
The effectiveness of different dosages
How to take CLA
The effect of CLA on fat mass is not pronounced and manifests itself in a dose of at least 3.2 g per day. The average amount of fat loss is 90 g per week. Exceeding the specified dose does not lead to improved results in weight loss. Another meta-analysis showed that conjugated linoleic acid increases lean muscle mass by an average of 1% per week. Given the simultaneous loss of fat and an increase in muscle mass, the total body weight can remain unchanged.
Nutritionists believe that CLA itself cannot serve as the only solution to combat obesity, but in bodybuilding it can be used with some success as an auxiliary tool, provided that it has a general healing effect, strengthens the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of tumor diseases.