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CLA – Is it Benefitical for Weight Loss?

We all know that the best way to really lose weight and keep it off is to change how you eat, what you eat, and to increase the amount physical activity you get per day. It’s hard work but making these important changes in your lifestyle, and sticking to those changes, will give you the weight loss results you want and need for a healthier you — for the rest of your life. Look for whole foods and eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats, and consume less fat, sugar, processed food and salt. Cut out calorie-laden beverages like lattes, sodas and juices and replace those drinks with water. Add daily exercise to your lifestyle with yoga, walking, swimming, biking. Or take a pilates, dance, or zumba class. Whatever you choose — make sure you are eating less and exercising more. But what else can you do?

ADDING CLA TO EXERCISE & DIET?

If you are serious about losing weight and feel like you have a long way to go, you might be looking for ways to get your desired results more quickly. But can you really boost your results with things like weight loss supplements? Lots of studies seem to back up the theory that adding CLA to your weight loss regimen can improve your results. According to a study conducted by Dr. Sandra Einerhand and presented at Digestive Disease Week 2006, the people in the study who combined CLA with diet and exercise modifications lost an average of 5.6% more body fat than those who dieted and exercised but did not use CLA weight loss supplements. Another double-blind study originally published in the December 2000 issue of the Journal of Nutrition concluded that the group on CLA showed an average reduction of six pounds of body fat compared to a placebo group.

Dr. Michael Pariza, who conducted research on CLA with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported in August 2000 to the American Chemical Society that “It doesn’t make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.” In a separate study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetic patients, and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels. CLA is also linked to speeding up results in people with underactive thyroids.

WHAT IS CLA?

CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid — a supplement that does not require a prescription. You can get CLA at health food stores and through online outlets.

HOW CLA BENEFITS MOST?

Dr. Einerhand reported that the supplement affected men and women in different ways, and the study participants who had the highest BMI to start with got the most benefits from CLA. Women in the CLA weight loss group lost fat from their legs and abdomen. Men in the CLA group lost fat from their abdomens.

SIDE EFFECTS?

Dr. Einerhand’s study results reported that there were no adverse health events related to the participants’ use of CLA and that their sensitivity to insulin — a hormone that controls blood sugar — didn’t change during the study. The study concluded that a six month CLA weight loss supplement regimen not only targeted specific problem areas in the body (abdomen and legs), but was also very well tolerated by the study participants.

“This study shows that CLA supplementation for six months in healthy overweight and obese adults affected body fat mass in specific regions of the body and was well tolerated,” wrote Einerhand and colleagues in their study’s abstract.

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