Conjugated linoleic acid, called CLA, is an effective weight loss supplement, states WebMD. At the end of a year-long study of men and women using CLA in pill and syrup forms, each participant lost about 4 pounds and approximately 9 percent body fat.
Using products containing approximately 80 percent CLA, the 180 study participants also showed improved muscle mass without having changed their eating or exercise behaviors. The participants experienced changes in their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, but the changes are not considered significant, notes WebMD. CLA is a substance that naturally occurs in lamb, beef, dairy products and other foods. Health food stores market CLA as a supplement to lose weight and control Type 2 diabetes.