Can CLA Help with Weight Loss?

In an earlier video, I mentioned that I sometimes use CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, as a supplement for my clients who are struggling with weight loss. But what is CLA and what does it do?

CLA is a lipid — that’s an organic substance that can’t be dissolved in water. Types of lipids include cholesterol, triglycerides, and fatty acids; CLA is part of the fatty acid group. When taken as a supplement, CLA gets taken up into the body’s fat cells, where it can help break down stored fat and release it into the bloodstream. When taken alongside a healthy diet, CLA can be a catalyst, giving the body a helping hand burning fat.

Choosing a brand of CLA

CLA can be a very dirty ingredient — you want to be sure it’s free of heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. And be aware that about 80% of the CLA out there is soy-based, so be sure you choose a soy-free brand like my Metabolism CLA.

Watch: What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid?

I’m a big believer in supplements, but in my view, supplements are not something that make up for a poor diet. They’re something that works alongside a healthy and complete eating plan to enhance certain aspects of health. In this case, the breakup of stored fat.

Is CLA right for me?

In my clinics, I often use conjugated linoleic acid with my clients who are struggling to lose weight, often post-menopausal women with hormonal imbalances. But I don’t use it with everyone. My clinics are collaborative; I consult with medical doctors and other professionals on supplementation, and you can do that too — by partnering with your own doctor.

Check out the video — there have been some opposing studies on CLA and its use in those with diabetes. The most recent research out of New York University actually found it to be beneficial, but if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, please discuss CLA with your doctor before adding it.  Your doctor may run a few tests, including a lipid panel (LDL and HDL cholesterols, and triglycerides), C-reactive protein assessment, fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1C.

When I do use CLA with a client, I typically recommend a dose of 3.5 grams a day, or 3,500 mg, split into two doses. But this isn’t a situation where more is better; too much CLA can make you feel nauseous or contribute to diarrhea.