How Does CLA Work?


Quick Answer

Conjugated linoleic acid may reduce body fat in adults and children, according to WebMD. It may also reduce hunger and improve blood pressure. One form of CLA may increase risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Full Answer

Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid found in dairy products and beef, reports About.com. It may help treat obesity by reducing body fat, and it may help build muscle, but studies are conflicting. An analysis of the data published in 2007 states that CLA does not affect body weight or body composition. Another published in 2011 states that it may help weight loss, but more research is needed. A study at Purdue University showed lowered insulin resistance and reduced blood glucose levels, but this contradicts other research showing negative impacts on insulin resistance, blood sugar metabolism and diabetes.

CLA with ramipril may reduce blood pressure more than taking ramipril alone, explains WebMD. Side effects of CLA include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and a decrease in the blood's ability to clot. Not enough evidence exists to determine if CLA is safe for pregnant women or for long-term use in children. The benefits of CLA do not seem to increase at doses higher than 3.4 grams per day.

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