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CLA - Research Proven Benefits

Updated on February 25, 2014

<< Part 3 - Why Should You Take It? <<

Now that we’ve gone over many of the benefits of increasing CLA in your diet, we need to look at some of the research done on conjugated linoleic acid.

I know a lot of people expect you to believe everything they say once they say the words “studies have shown”, but I’m not like that.

I’d like to actually show you some of the results from a few studies.

Let’s get right into it.

Research Proven Benefits

Study #1

There was a 12 week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to examine the changes in body composition while supplementing with CLA.

There were 48 healthy, but obese, participants; 13 males and 35 females.

Research Proven Benefits

They were each given either:

  • 8 Grams of Safflower Oil a Day (Placebo)


  • 3.2 Grams of CLA a Day


  • 6.4 Grams of CLA a Day

DEXA scans (a type of x-ray) were used to check their body composition before and after.

After 12 weeks, the group that received 6.4 grams of CLA each day saw an average increase of 1.41 pounds of muscle!

So this proves that if you’re healthy but obese and take in a good amount of CLA each day that you can count on gaining some muscle!

Study #2

There was a year long double-blind, placebo controlled study to examine effects of CLA on body composition and its safety from prolonged usage.

There were 180 healthy, but overweight (BMI: 25-30), participants; both male and female.

They were each randomly broken into 3 groups and were given either:

  • CLA-free fatty acid (a fatty acid not attached to any other molecules)


  • CLA- triacylglycerol (glycerol + 3 fatty acids)


  • Olive Oil (Placebo)

DEXA scans were used to check their body composition before and after. Interestingly enough, the participants were allowed to eat whatever they pleased.

Body fat levels were on average 8.7% lower in the CLA-triacylglycerol group and 6.9% lower in the CLA-free fatty acid group, when compared to the placebo group!

Those in the CLA-free fatty acid group also had on average 1.8% more muscle than those in the placebo group!

So it appears that CLA, in either form, is safe for healthy, but overweight individuals to use for at least a year. In doing so they can expect to lose fat and possibly gain muscle whether they change their diet or not!

Study #3

There was a 12 week random-double-blind, placebo-controlled study to look into how efficient and tolerable CLA supplementation is for healthy, exercising humans.

There were 20 healthy, not overweight, participants.

They all did standardized exercises for 90 minutes, three times a week.

There were broken into 2 groups where they received either:

  • Hydrogel (Placebo)


  • .6 Grams of CLA

…3 times a day, as two capsules while they ate.

They used near infrared light to test body fat levels before and after.

Body fat levels were significantly reduced in the CLA group, but not in the placebo! There were no real changes in overall bodyweight, but it was well tolerated.

So this proves that supplementing with CLA can help healthy people lose fat. Since there were no changes in overall bodyweight, but they lost fat, it can be assumed that they also gained muscle! Otherwise, how would they stay at the same weight?

So there you have it, CLA is not only a great weight loss supplement but it can also help you gain muscle.

So if you feel like you’re lacking CLA in your diet, then get yourself some CLA supplements or start buying grass-fed meat and dairy products.

There’s no need to avoid the dark side of things though; let’s take a look and see if there are any side effects from supplementing with CLA.

>> Continue Reading Part 5 - Side Effects and Cons >>

Convinced of The Benefits of CLA Yet?

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    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I recommend 5 different CLA supplements in this article:

      These are some of the top CLA supplements out there...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What cla supplement would u recommend ?

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Sam, creatine, glutamine and whey protein (which are in synergy iso-7) are all pretty safe to use as long as you follow the dosages outlined on the package and stay hydrated...

      You'll actually have less of a chance of the minor side effects from CLA if you take it with protein so I really don't think that it'd be a problem with you including CLA in your supplement regime.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I also take phd synergy iso-7 all in one supplement is there any side effects as to taking them both ?

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Indeed... I'm serving up brain-fulls, katiem2!

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      You've said a mouth full.... People should know, not just do! Peace :)

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Glad to see that you research your supplements before you take them, Sandyspider.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I agree. I have read up on the benefits to CLA.


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