CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid

By Bill Willis, BSc, a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University.

CLA, discovered by accident by a researcher analyzing mutagens in cooked red meat, is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products.

CLA has been experimented with as a treatment for diabetes, having a “sensitizing” effect on the insulin receptor.

CLA for Fat Loss

For us non-diabetics looking to loose body fat, more sensitive insulin receptors results in lower levels of insulin. There is a huge correlation between insulin levels and body fat; fat people release more insulin while leaner people tend to release less. Less insulin = less body fat. Taking CLA sensitizes the insulin receptor so that we need less insulin to do the job after eating carbohydrates.

CLA also seems to help those on higher calorie diets to stay leaner in spite of an increased calorie intake. CLA has additionally been shown to affect muscle protein metabolism, promoting gains in lean muscle mass and strength when used in combination with an intense weight training program.

Getting Cut for Competition, Spring Beak or Photos

When dropping those last few pounds of fat for a photo shoot or bodybuilding competition, calories need to be drastically reduced in addition to doing lots of intense weight training and cardio. Under these conditions, muscle loss is likely and anabolic tends to slow down as the body begins to slip into “starvation mode”. Using CLA while on this type of diet/training regimen helps to prevent muscle loss and the associated slowing of fat burning, allowing you to stay bigger and get leaner.

Dose for CLA

The dose for CLA varies depending on a number of factors. 3-9 grams/day seems to be the most effective range for most guys.