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CLA - What Is It?

Updated on February 26, 2014

If you’ve done any research into weight loss supplements then you might have already heard about conjugated linoleic acid or CLA.

If you’ve heard of CLA, did you see the weight loss claims and then start popping pills or did you research it first?

Hopefully, since you’re reading this article, you’re trying to find out what CLA isbeforeyou start supplementing with it.

Let’s put conjugated linoleic acid “under the microscope” and get down to some research.

What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid?

A conjugated linoleic acid is in a family of at least 28 different compounds of linoleic acid. Linoleic acids are polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids. So right off the bat, you’re probably thinking it’s good, right? And you’re right; omega-6 fatty acids are a good thing.

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But when you look into things a little deeper, some people might get a little scared off. You see, CLA is both a trans fatty acid and a cis fatty acid.

Trans fat!!?? Run!! No wait, don’t

Not all trans fat is bad fat, the kind of trans fat that you want to avoid is from processed foods.

I can admit that whenever trans fat was first getting a bad rap in the news I noticed trans fat pop up on the label for some hamburger I was about to eat. I was actually a bit reluctant to eat it, but I was just misinformed.

You see, there are actually naturally occurring trans fats, like CLA, which are found in meat and dairy products.

This is the good kind of trans fat! CLA is nothing like the trans fat you’ll find in foods containing partially-hydrogenated fats.

Benefits of CLA

There have been a number of health benefits attributed to CLA other than just weight loss.

CLA has actually been found to have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in animal studies.

In fact, here’s a direct quote from the National Academy of Science, “CLA was the only fatty acid shown unequivocally to inhibit carcinogenesis in experimental animals.”

The mice and rat studies have shown that CLA can hinder the growth of tumors on colon, mammary and skin tissues.

Other studies have shown that it may enhance your immune system, lower cholesterol and maintain your blood glucose and insulin levels!

Now does that sound like a bad trans fat to you?

Sources of CLA

After tossing all those benefits at you, you might be wondering where you can get some CLA for yourself.

It’s not as difficult as you might think…

Some great sources for CLA are beef, dairy products, eggs and some mushrooms. One of the best sources might be a little harder to come by, unless you know where you get kangaroo meat.

If you want to get meat and dairy products that contain even more CLA, then try to buy only meat and dairy products from animals that were fed grass.

Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can contain anywhere from 300-500% more CLA than animals fed grains, hay or silage!

So what kind of animals am I talking about?

Animals like bison, cows, deer, goats, and sheep are some ideal sources for CLA.

So if you don’t feel like buying a CLA supplement and want to get a good dose of these beneficial conjugated linoleic acids then pick up some grass-fed meats or dairy products today.

Let’s take a look into when and why people first started supplementing with CLA.

>> Continue Reading Part 2 - First Supplement Usage >>


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