CLA - Side Effects and Cons
If you’re eating foods that are high in CLA, like grass-fed meat and dairy products, then you have nothing to worry about.
But a lot of people are supplementing with CLA and that can cause some problems.
Your body may not be use to getting that much straight CLA, and sometimes supplement companies include a different kind of CLA isomer (chemical compound) that can be troublesome.
As I mentioned before, conjugated linoleic acids are both a cis fatty acid and a trans fatty acid.
One of the most common CLA isomers in beef and milk is the cis-9, trans-11 isomer, which most supplement companies will include in their CLA supplements. But you see, this IS NOT the isomer that has caused the problems in some studies; this is the more natural form.
The other CLA isomer that some supplement companies include in their CLA supplements is the trans-10, cis-12 isomer. And THIS is the isomer that some studies have linked to causing some side effects.
The problem is that your CLA supplement label probably isn't going to tell you what isomers are in it. BUT some studies have shown that a mixture of these two isomers had no adverse effects; I just thought I’d bring it to your attention.
So, in some cases the t10, c12 version of CLA has caused issues, but in other cases it hasn’t.
But what symptoms should you look out for (just in case it happens to you)?
Possible Serious Side Effects
As I’ve said before, CLA will help lower your cholesterol, but it’s also going to be lowering good cholesterol! It'd be great if it only lowered bad cholesterol but it doesn't seem like that’s the case. So, that’s one reason why you might want to be careful with CLA supplementation.
There have also been concerns that (possibly because of the t10, c12 isomer) overweight people might have an increased risk of getting diabetes, when supplementing with CLA, especially if you have metabolic syndrome. It's been said at times to raise blood sugar levels, causing hyperglycemia, because some forms of CLA cause insulin resistance.
Another problem is that some people have allergic reactions to CLA supplements, which can bring on things like hives, rashes, swelling, wheezing, or difficulty swallowing.
Natural CLA Sources
Possible Minor Side Effects
But some side effects from CLA supplementation aren’t as serious and can be decreased once your body gets use to it, or by taking protein with your CLA supplements (as it would naturally be found in meat and dairy products).
These minor side effects include:
So, there are some side effects that you will need to watch for if you’re supplementing with CLA, depending on the isomers used. But if you’re increasing your CLA intake by switching to grass-fed meats and dairy products then you shouldn’t have to worry about any of these side effects.
As you all know, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing; and could possibly cause some of the side effects, we just went over, to occur. So, I think we should go over the proper dosages of CLA to take when supplementing with it.
© 2010 Ben Guinter