Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that is found in the meat and milk of ruminant animals. It is a great option for those of you who want to lose weight. However, were you aware that there are a wide variety of other benefits associated with the use of this fatty acid? In this article, we will be taking an in depth look at conjugated linoleic acid and what it can do for your body. Additionally, we will discuss who needs to be taking a CLA supplement that contains this fatty acid and how much you should be taking on a daily basis.
What Is CLA?
Conjugated linoleic acid is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that forms a part of linoleic acid. It is most commonly produced in the rumens of animals like cows, sheep and goats. These animals then store this fatty acid in the fat between their muscle fibers as well as in their milk. However, it can also be produced from certain plant oils. Conjugated linoleic acid plays several key roles in the human body. When you eat foods that are rich in fatty acids the microflora present in your digestive system will engage in a process of bioconversion. During this process, the bacteria in your digestive system will extract the CLA from linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid in fatty acids. Although this process is effective, it is still limited, and your body will not be able to naturally extract enough conjugated linoleic acid to meet your daily requirements. Additionally, if you suffer from any conditions that affect your digestive system like Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease your body will not be able to extract this key fatty acid as efficiently.
Bottom Line: This nutrient is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, which is a part of linoleic acid. This fatty acid is produced in the first stomach compartment of ruminant animals. It can also be extracted from plant oils. When you consume foods that contain fatty acids the bacteria in your digestive system extract the key nutrients from the fatty acids through a process of bioconversion. However, if you suffer from an illness that affects your digestive system your body will not be able to extract these fatty acids.
Weight Loss Benefits Of CLA
One of the key benefits of CLA, if consumed on a regular basis, is that it could help you lose weight. This fatty acid is great because it helps you control your weight by serving several functions in your body. Scientists believe that conjugated linoleic acid works because it may have an impact on the genes that are responsible for the storage of fat in your body. When you consume an adequate amount of conjugated linoleic acid on a daily basis your body will be less likely to store excess energy as fat.
Additionally, the research seems to indicate that CLA plays a role in how your body stores fat. People who consume this type of fatty acid on a regular basis will have a larger percentage of brown adipose tissue. Adipose tissue, or fat cells, consist either of brown adipose tissue or white adipose tissue. You may be rather surprised to learn that brown fat can be quite beneficial for your body. Brown adipose tissue plays a key role in the process of thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process in which your body generates heat to burn calories.
Finally, it is believed that conjugated linoleic acid helps you to lose weight because it helps your body to receive signals from your stomach that you have eaten enough more effectively.
Bottom Line:Conjugated Linoleic Acid is effective for weight loss because it affects how your body stores energy. Your body will be less likely to store energy as fat. When it does it is more likely that your body will store it as brown fat. Brown fat helps your body burn energy and is crucial for weight loss. Additionally, when your body has adequate levels of this fatty acid it is more likely to feel satisfied and full after consuming a meal.
It Helps To Fight Inflammation
Conjugated linoleic acid contains a variety of properties that help to fight inflammation in your body. The evidence seems to indicate that the use of conjugated linoleic acid could significantly decrease the symptoms of individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This painful condition causes swelling in the joints and cartilage, most often in the fingers and hands. However, this fatty acid is not only effective for relieving the symptoms of inflammatory conditions. The experts believe that the use of this fatty acid could help to improve several disorders like Crohn's disease and asthma. Additionally, it could support your body with the inflammation caused by allergies. The research indicates that individuals who consume this fatty acid on a regular basis were significantly less likely to manifest allergic symptoms than those who do not.
Bottom Line:The research seems to indicate individuals who use conjugated linoleic acid notice a dramatic difference in the amount of inflammation present in your body. CLA is effective for reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies.
CLA Could Help You Manage Diabetes
CLA is one of the fatty acids that are most effective for reducing the symptoms of diabetes. It is very effective at keeping your blood sugars stable. It also helps your body to process insulin more effectively. Finally, it is great for people who suffer from diabetes because foods like meat and dairy have a low glycemic index. This means that not only will they help you to feel sated for a longer period of time, but they will also not cause the insulin levels in your blood to rise or fall dramatically. When you take a supplement that contains conjugated linoleic acid in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise you may notice a dramatic difference to your blood sugars. Engaging in a healthy lifestyle could help to restore your life to the state it was in before you developed diabetes.
Bottom Line: Individuals who consume conjugated linoleic acid on a regular basis notice a dramatic difference to the symptoms of their diabetes. It will help to stabilize your blood sugars while also preventing your insulin levels from spiking. Additionally, foods that are rich in this fatty acid will help to keep you feeling satisfied for longer due to their low glycemic index.
Take CLA To Boost Your Immune System
Most people will find it hard to believe that eating meat and butter can improve your immune system. The fatty acids present in meat from cows, sheep, and goat are very effective for supporting the immune system. Individuals who use a CLA supplement or follow a CLA diet report that they notice a significant difference to their immune responses. An increased immune response is essential for anyone who wants to remain healthy. A good immune system will fight and eliminate any infections or bacteria that could pose a threat to your health. Additionally, the research seems to indicate that this fatty acid provides support to your liver. This support will improve your liver's ability to rid itself of toxins that could be suppressing your immune system.
Bottom Line:Consuming the recommended daily requirement of conjugated linoleic acid will help to prevent you from getting sick. This is because it supports your immune system to fight off germs before they make you ill. Additionally, it supports the liver to rid itself of toxins more efficiently.
It Could Protect You From Cancer
Another widely publicized benefit associated with the use of this fatty is its ability to defend your body against the dangerous cells that cause cancer. The evidence indicates that this fatty acid is incredibly effective for defending the body against breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, skin and stomach cancer. It has also been proven to be effective for lowering the susceptibility of cancerous cells growing in your tissue while also slowing the rate at which cancerous tissue grows. Although a lot of mystery still surrounds the exact way it works there are a few theories as to why this fatty acid is so effective against precancerous cells. The most common theory is that CLA activates the genes called PTP gamma. These genes suppress the growth of tumors in the body.
Bottom Line:Conjugated linoleic acid is effective for protecting the human body from developing a variety of different types of cancer. It slows the rate at which cancerous tissue grows while also preventing new cancerous cells from growing. Although it is not clear how it works the expert believes it activates the genes that suppress the growth of cancerous tissue.
Take CLA To Protect Your Heart
A surprising benefit associated with the use of CLA is the positive effects that it has on your heart health. Eating foods that contain a large amount of conjugated linoleic acid will significantly decrease your risk of suffering from heart disease as you age. The research indicates that this fatty acid is highly effective for reducing the amount of unhealthy cholesterol present in your bloodstream. Additionally, it increases the amount of healthy cholesterol in your blood. This fatty acid is also great for your heart health because it helps to lower your blood pressure. Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Bottom Line: Conjugated linoleic acid is a great option for individuals who want to improve the health of their hearts. It will reduce the unhealthy cholesterol in your blood while increasing the healthy cholesterol. Additionally, it will help to lower your blood pressure into the normal levels. This further reduces the risk that you will develop a heart disease later on in life.
CLA Builds Strong And Healthy Bones
A final benefit associated with the use of conjugated linoleic acid is that it can have a variety of positive impacts on the health of your bones. When you consume enough of this fatty acid in your daily lifestyle it could provide a significant amount of defense against loss in bone density. This is because CLA binds to receptors that send signals to your body to absorb large amounts of calcium. Additionally, conjugated linoleic acid reduces the activity of osteoclasts. These are cells that are responsible for removing the calcium from your bones to support your body when you are not consuming enough calcium in your diet.
Bottom Line: Individuals who consume this fatty acid on a regular basis are far less likely to experience a loss in the density of their bones. It allows your body to absorb a greater amount of calcium while reducing the osteoclasts that harm your bone density.
How Do You Take CLA Supplements?
Most people will not be consuming an adequate amount of conjugated linoleic acid through their diet alone. Additionally, individuals who are following a vegan or vegetarian diet will most likely not be consuming any of these fatty acids. This means that you will have to take a supplement. The optimal amount of this supplement is 3.4 mg taken in a single day if you plan on using it for weight-loss. If you plan on using this supplement to control your blood pressure you should take a slightly higher dosage of 4.5 mg daily. However, you should take note that it is important to consult with your doctor before using any new supplements to ensure that you use it safely. Additionally, you should take care to choose a supplement that has been manufactured from an oil like safflower oil to make sure that you are not consuming any harmful saturated fats.