In 1979 a small group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin applied beef extract to mice skin. The mice were then exposed to a strong carcinogen. When the researchers tested the mice for tumors up to sixteen weeks later they were found that the mice who were exposed to beef extract were found to have 20% less tumours than the mice that weren't exposed to beef extract.
The identity of this anti-carcinogen was not discovered until almost a decade later in 1987. Michael Pariza, the scientist who discovered CLA. Although CLA is best known for its anti-cancer properties, researchers have also found that the cis-9, trans-11 form of CLA can reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and help fight inflammation.
CLA is also known for its body weight management properties, which include reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Over 30 clinical studies have been published investigating the effect of CLA on weight management. The trials have quite variable designs, which lead to inconsistency in results. However a meta-analysis conducted in 2007 concluded that CLA has a small impact on fat mass.
In July 2008, CLA received a no objection letter from the FDA on its Generally Recognized as Safe status for certain food categories, including fluid milk, yogurt, meal replacement shakes, nutritional bars, fruit juices and soy milk. With GRAS status, food companies are now able to add CLA to products in these food categories.
Diet and Health
Anti-cancer properties have been attributed to CLA, and studies on mice and rats show encouraging results in
hindering the growth of tumors in mammary, skin, and colon tissues. It has been reported that CLA can up-regulate the tumor suppressor gene, and may have anti-cancer properties.
A European team led by the Swiss scientist Lukas Rist has found that mothers consuming mostly organic milk and meat products have about 50 percent higher levels of rumenic acid in their breast milk. According to studies that targeted the effects of conjugated linoleic acid on the belly firmness and fatty acid composition of genetically lean pigs, the supplemental CLA usage had a positive effect on the improvement of belly firmness and may provide a nutritional solution to carcass fat and belly firmness problems.
The most promising science around CLA concerns its effect on weight management. Thirty five intervention studies have been conducted using CLA in humans to investigate the effects of CLA on weight management. These studies, which vary widely in CLA dose and duration, show that the most significant effect of CLA on weight management is on body composition, a reduction in total body fat and an increase in lean body mass.
The effect of CLA on fat mass is modest and at the recommended dosage of 3.2g/day produces statistically significant 90g fat loss per week (ca. 1 lb in 5 weeks) as shown by a 2007 meta-analysis. Doses higher than the recommended 3.2g do not seem to have any additional effects on body fat reduction Another meta-analysis found that CLA supplementation produces about 1% increase in lean body mass per week? With the simultaneous decrease in fat mass coupled with increases in lean body mass, often the net change in weight is small. However, the effects of CLA on body composition is a healthy effect since the degree of fat mass is related to all-cause mortality and lean body mass burns more calories than fat mass which may help to increase resting metabolic rates. CLA use itself is not an answer to the prevalence of obesity, but it can be a useful tool in addition to a healthy lifestyle and exercise program to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Some studies have found no significant effects of CLA supplementation on fat mass loss. These results are likely due to a number of reasons. The study duration may have been too short to observe significant effects. The instrumentation used may not have been sensitive enough to detect significant fat losses. CLA has also been used incombination with other ingredients which may skew results
Of all foods, kangaroo meat may have the highest concentration of CLA; Food products from grass-fed ruminants (e.g. mutton and beef) are good sources of CLA, and contain much more of it than those from grain-fed animals In fact, meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can produce 300-500% more CLA than those of cattle fed the usual diet of 50% hay and silage, and 50% grain. Eggs are also rich in CLA, and it has been shown that CLA in eggs survives the temperatures encountered during frying. Some mushrooms like Agaricus bisporus and Agaricus subrufescens, are rare non-animal sources of CLA
If you are steering away from red meat due to the negative press on saturated fats, you may be happy to hear that a very powerful fatty acid primarily found in beef and dairy products has been linked to long-term weight management and health. This potent nutrient is called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, and the best possible sources of CLA are grass-fed beef and raw dairy products that come from grass-fed cattle.
Many ranchers are responding to the call by U.S. consumers by shifting from traditional, factory-farmed, grain-fed methods of raising cattle to a free-range, all-grass diet. Even the USDA is waking up to the consumer demand for grass-fed products. In a June 2010 publication their findings indicated that grass-fed beef represents 3 percent of the total U.S. beef production and has been growing about 20 percent for several years.
A scope of tests on animals and humans have found that CLA can help prevent and reduce the following diseases:
• Breast Cancer
• Lung Cancer
• Skin Cancer
• Stomach Cancer
• Cardiovascular Disease
• High Blood Pressure
• High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
• Immune System Invaders
• Food Induced Allergic Reactions
• Insulin Resistance (shown to have similar effects to diabetic medication)
• Body Composition (exciting results in humans)
It should be noted that since CLA is not produced in your body the best (two known) sources are grass fed beef or supplemental CLA.
Some benefits of grass fed beef
The natural diet for ruminant animals, such as cattle, is grass. When left to feed on grass-only diets, levels of CLA are three to five times more than those fed grain-based diets. And that's just the start.
A joint effort between the USDA and Clemson University researchers in 2009 determined a total of 10 key areas where grass-fed is better than grain-fed beef for human health.
In a side-by-side comparison, they determined that grass-fed beef was:
|1. Lower in total fat
2. Higher in beta-carotene
3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
6. Higher in total omega-3s
7. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
9. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Best Supplemental brand of CLA
without a doubt it is CLA from EAS Pro Science which contains 30% more CLA than other brands. EAS has been perfecting their CLA formula for a number of years now. EAS is one brand I wholly support and trust. Until next time, God Bless and take care,
Written by Adrian Ambrose