- Diet & Weight Loss
CLA - First Supplement Usage
Now that you know what conjugated linoleic acid is you might be wondering how the benefits of CLA were discovered.
What would cause someone to want to supplement with CLA?
It’s always interesting to know where it all began so let’s look at the history of CLA.
The History of CLA
Back in the late 1970s, Dr. Michael Pariza was doing research at the University of Wisconsin. In one study he was applying beef extract to mice skin and then they were exposed to a strong carcinogen (something that causes cancer).
This study might sound pretty odd but they were looking for mutagens in beef.
16 weeks later the scientists went to count the tumors on the mice and were surprised to find that the mice who had beef extract applied to them had 20% less tumors!
It took 9 years of research before Dr. Pariza identified the anti-carcinogenic extract as CLA. This started a rush of new scientific studies on CLA.
So it seems that conjugated linoleic acid was discovered when scientists were expecting the opposite results from a beef extract. It’s funny how these things come about isn’t it?
But if it’s already in beef, why would we need to supplement with it to experience the benefits from it?
Why We Supplement with CLA
In the past, you could consume beef and dairy products and be sure that you were getting a good dosage of CLA in your diet, but that isn’t the case these days.
Our cattle isn’t raised the same way that it use to be. I’m not sure if it’s cheaper or just easier but most cattle ranchers today don’t led their livestock graze on grass. Instead they feed their cattle grains, hay or silage which isn’t as healthy.
This might not seem like that big of a deal but when you look at the meat or dairy products from an animal that was grass-fed it can have anywhere from 300% to 500% more CLA in it!
That’s a HUGE difference!
So it doesn’t matter if you’re still consuming meat and dairy products, unless they’re from grass-fed animals, because it will have such low levels of CLA in it.
What makes it worse is that people are shying away from these exact products. People are afraid of fat and cholesterol so they’re limiting their intake of red meats and dairy products. So now you’re talking about even less CLA in your daily diet!
Luckily in 2008, the FDA started to allow food companies to add CLA to certain food categories like milk, yogurt, meal replacement shakes, nutritional bars, fruit juices and soy milk.
Even if you don’t consume any of the food from above, or grass-fed meats or dairy products, you can still get a daily dosage from CLA supplements.
So you can see why so many people have started supplementing with CLA and have been leaning more toward grass-fed animals.
Times change, people try to save money and in turn our risk for cancer is raised. It’s funny how we’re told to limit our consumption of red meats to avoid cancer, yet if we were consuming grass-fed meats wouldn’t it be the opposite? Of course all things should be consumed in moderation but grass-fed red meats aren’t something you should shun.
Let’s look a little deeper into the benefits of CLA and talk more about why you should supplement with it.