The body does not Before we talk about the power of CLA, let’s look at its history.
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. The researchers tested the mice for tumors up to sixteen weeks later. They found that the mice exposed to beef extract had 20% less tumors than the mice not 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.
What Is The Power Of CLA?
We’re talking benefits! CLA may be known for its anti-cancer properties. Yet researchers have found that the cis-9, trans-11 form of CLA can reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. It also helps fight inflammation.
Additionally, CLA is known for its body composition properties. This includes reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle. There’s 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.
CLA & The FDA
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.
The Power Of CLA – Diet and Health
Anti-cancer properties have been attributed to CLA. Further, 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 looked at mothers consuming mostly organic milk and meat products. It was found that they have about 50% higher levels of rumenic acid in their breast milk. Studies were conducted on the effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on the belly firmness and fatty acid composition of genetically lean pigs. Supplemental CLA use had a positive effect on the improvement of belly firmness. It also may provide a nutritional solution to carcass fat and belly firmness problems.
The Power Of CLA & Fat Loss
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 vary widely in CLA dose and duration. They 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. This produces a 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.
A Second Study
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. Also, 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. Still, it can be a useful tool in addition to a healthy lifestyle and exercise program.
This is the power of CLA in action! It can help you 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 in combination with other ingredients which may skew results
Natural Sources Of CLA
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. They 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. In addition, this is compared to cattle that are fed the usual diet of hay, silage, and grain. Furthermore, eggs are also rich in CLA. It has been shown that CLA in eggs survives the temperatures encountered during frying. Finally, some mushrooms like Agaricus bisporus and Agaricus subrufescens, are rare non-animal sources of CLA.
Are You Avoiding Red Meat?
Are you steering away from red meat due to the negative press on saturated fats? You may be happy to hear that CLA has been linked to long-term weight management and health. The best 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.
The Power Of CLA – More Benefits
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).
The body does not produce CLA. The best 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. Cows fed grass-only diets have levels of CLA three to five times higher than those fed grain-based diets. And that’s just the start.
In 2009, a joint effort between the USDA and Clemson University researchers determined 10 key areas where grass-fed is better than grain-fed beef for human health.
Grass-fed beef is:
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Contained more vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Was higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Contained more calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Higher in total omega-3s
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
- Contained more vaccenic acid. This is converts to CLA.
- Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Best Supplemental Brands of CLA
If you want the power of CLA, visit I’ll Pump You Up for the best choices of this potent compound. There are quite a few choices!
Written by Adrian Ambrose