Side effects of CLA include stomach upset, diarrhea and fatigue, according to WebMD. CLA, also known as conjugated linoleic acid, is found in meat and dairy products.
While CLA occurs naturally in some food sources, it is also added to specific food categories along with protein shakes and nutritional bars. Some animals are even given foods higher in CLA to increase the amount in their body. CLA is also sold on the market as a dietary supplement. Most commonly, conjugated linoleic acid is used to aid people in losing weight, those people trying to increase muscle mass and people suffering from severe allergies. There is also research that shows that CLA offers health benefits for those suffering from certain types of cancers. Because the acid works to reduce fatty deposits within the body, it can help improve the immune system function which benefits can help people suffering from colon or rectal cancer fight off more infections.
The conjugated linoleic acid found in foods is generally safe to consume. Supplemental CLA has very few side effects and is safe when the proper dosage is taken. When using CLA or any other supplements, consumers should talk to their doctor to discuss the benefits and medication interactions.