If you’re trying to lose weight with the 17 Day Diet, you know diet and exercise are key. Nutritional supplements, like Tonalin CLA for weight loss, are also known to help you reach your weight loss goals.
The following blog post is written by guest contributor, David Hoang from SupplementSuperHero.
CLA and Weight Loss: The Supplement to Get The Body of Your Dreams!?
If you’ve been following the fitness or wellness industry for a while now, you may have heard the term CLA being tossed around quite a bit. It’s getting a TON of attention in the fitness and nutritional supplement industries with regard to weight loss.
It seems like supplement companies are popping out CLA products left, right, and center! It’s almost overwhelming to keep up with the number of CLA products on the market, in addition to the myriad number of other weight loss supplements out there.
What is CLA?
CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid. Yes, it’s certainly a mouthful, so you can see why most people just call it “CLA.”
Conjugated linoleic acids are a type of omega-6 fatty acid and can be found commonly in meat and dairy products. Grass-fed ruminants are particularly good sources of CLA.
CLA is sold by many health and supplement companies primarily as a weight loss supplement that can help burn fat and retain lean muscle mass.
What Are The Various Benefits of CLA?
There are many health benefits of CLA including weight loss, reducing inflammation and more. Let’s talk about the main benefits.
CLA for Burning Fat
Some sources say that CLA helps burn fat by inhibiting the genes that cause fat storage and fat cell production.
There are several studies which have shown CLA’s ability to decrease body fat. These studies have been conducted on both humans and mice.
Some research also indicates that CLA’s effect on weight loss is a lot stronger when one’s weight and body fat percentage is greater.
CLA For Retaining Lean Muscle Mass
It’s one thing for a product to help you lose weight. It’s another thing for a product to help you lose the kind of weight you actually want to lose.
Many times when we strive to lose weight, we actually end up burning both fat and muscle. In a lot of cases it is inevitable, but we ideally want to minimize the amount of muscle we lose.
Possessing healthy muscle mass serves various functions, one of which is promoting a healthy metabolism which ends up helping us burn more fat. Many claim that CLA not only helps us burn fat, but enables us to retain muscle.
There are a lot of weight loss supplements and fat-burning supplements on the market, but people have fallen in love with CLA because of its potential to give you the best of both worlds.
CLA Reduces Inflammation
Besides helping you lose weight, CLA has other general health advantages like reducing inflammation. In one particular study, mice that suffered from arthritis were given CLA and their inflammatory levels decreased.
CLA Reduces Blood Pressure
Ramipril is a drug used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
Some research suggests that when ramipril is taken in conjunction with CLA, it lowers your blood pressure more effectively than if you were to take ramipril alone.
CLA Potentially Fights Off Cancer?
The topic of cancer and utilizing nutrition and dietary supplements to fight off cancer is definitely a pretty complex topic.
The world of cancer is very complicated and people in general have to be very careful not to make any bold claims about supplements having the ability to treat cancer.
With that being said, CLA has exhibited some potential to help fight off cancerous symptoms.
Some studies have shown that when rats supplemented CLA, it reduced their number of tumors. It showed that CLA has the potential to suppress the spread of tumors throughout the body and increase tissue immunity to cancer.
Disadvantages, Controversies, and Side Effects of CLA
The good thing about conjugated linoleic acid is that it is considered safe by the standards set in place by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
You don’t have to worry about it being one of those shady, under-the-radar type supplements that no one has seen or touched yet.
There are no dangerous side effects. Despite being deemed safe to use, there are some things to consider before you shell out your hard-earned money for your next bottle of CLA.
Higher Levels of White Blood Cells, Leptin, and Lipoprotein
In one study, researchers divided their subjects up into 3 groups.
One group was given CLA in liquid form, another group was given CLA in the form of pills, and the third group was given a placebo.
They discovered that the two groups who were given CLA had elevated levels of white blood cells, leptin, and lipoproteins.
Although all three of those serve vital biological functions, too much of anything in our body can be a bad thing and something to watch out for. Fortunately, it was determined that the increase was not significant enough to do any sort of harm or have any type of significant effect.
Still, it’s a concern to keep our eyes on.
Increase in Cholesterol
In the same study mentioned above, it was shown that CLA can increase cholesterol levels.
One of the groups that was given CLA had a decrease in “good” cholesterol levels, and the other group that was given CLA had an increase in “bad” cholesterol.
The change in cholesterol levels was not considered significant, but it’s still something to be mindful of, especially if you already suffer from high cholesterol levels.
Natural CLA vs CLA Supplements
This controversy adds on to the age-old debate of whether we should take dietary supplements or just eat a well-balanced diet.
CLA occurs naturally in certain foods like beef and milk, so some will argue that supplementing CLA is a bit unnecessary.
Also, our bodies process and break down naturally-occurring CLA differently than CLA that has been packaged into supplement-form. Therefore, taking a CLA supplement from your local vitamin store may or may not have a different effect on your weight loss than if you were to eat a juicy steak at your local diner.
Different Effects on Different People
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to weight loss supplements and the supplement industry in general.
Everyone’s body is a bit different and will, therefore, have a slightly different experience with CLA.
Although some studies support the notion that CLA helps you lose weight, there are also several studies out there that show an insignificant effect on weight loss.
Some people that take CLA may have a positive experience. Some people may have a negative experience. Some people may have a somewhat neutral experience.
It’s hard to have an educated opinion on a supplement until you actually take the time to experience it for yourself.
My Personal Experience with CLA (My CLA Review)
I actually had the opportunity to take CLA for 2 weeks straight. I wrote a full review article on CLA and my personal experience with the product on my blog. You can read my entire CLA supplement review.
Overall, I had a fairly neutral experience with CLA after taking it consistently for 2 weeks.
The bottle of CLA I got was from Bauer Nutrition. A daily dosage of the product consisted of 3 tablets daily. The good thing was that I didn’t experience any sort of negative side effects. I wasn’t vomiting, getting stomach cramps, feeling irritable, feeling dehydrated, or any of the potential side effects that come with many fat-burning pills.
The fact that CLA has fat-burning capabilities, yet doesn’t “feel” like some of the fat-burners on the market, is probably one of my favorite aspects of CLA.
Unfortunately, the downside of my conjugated linoleic acid experience is that I didn’t notice any decrease in body fat or feeling of weight loss.
CLA is one of those supplements that can potentially play mind games with you. If you don’t feel any negative side effects, there’s a probability that you may not feel any positive side effects. The product might not be having any effect on your body, or it could be having an effect, but it might just be too hard for our senses to pick up on it.
It should also be reiterated that I only took CLA, and documented my experience with it, for about 2 weeks, which is a rather small amount of time. If I had extended my length of time taking CLA, there’s a chance that my experience could have been slightly different.
Also, I’m already fairly lean and not obese by any means, which definitely plays a role in the efficacy of any weight loss supplement. Again, your experience will likely be different than mine.
Final Thoughts on Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplements
In conclusion, CLA is a fairly safe supplement for weight loss. Will it 100% guarantee you weight loss success?
No, it will not. It’s not a magical diet pill. It’s a supplement that has the potential to help you decrease body fat, in addition to some other health benefits.
There are several studies out there that demonstrate CLA’s ability to help you on your quest to get the body of your dreams. Unfortunately, there are also other studies that contradict CLA’s fat-burning powers.
In my opinion, the best way to determine the potency of CLA is to try it out yourself and formulate your own perspective.
Now, if you suffer from any sort of intense medical conditions like diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, autoimmune diseases, or other conditions, I would not recommend taking CLA.
At the very least, I’d recommend consulting with your doctor or other medical professional before moving forward. Also, if your budget is extremely tight, or perhaps you’re already taking a fat burner that’s working extremely well for you, it might be a good idea to skip out on CLA for now.
On other hand, if you’ve tried other products on the market without much success, it might be worth giving CLA a shot. CLA has got some decent research behind it and it might be the type of fat burner that does the trick.
Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds, fit better in a pair of jeans, or get rid of your love handles, CLA might be worth your time and money!
About the Author, David Hoang
Salutations! My name is David Hoang. I’m the owner of SupplementSuperhero.com, where we talk about a variety of health topics mainly centered weight loss, supplement reviews, and concepts to help you get the kind of health and body you desire!
I’ve been loving the 17 Day Diet since 2011. As you know, your health & wellness is a life-long journey and food is one piece of the puzzle. I love sharing my favorite healthy recipes and meal plans to keep you motivated and on the right path to success!
When I’m not hanging out here, I enjoy quick trips to the Oregon Coast, helping you with your anti-aging & skincare needs over at my Avon store (come say hi!!), and helping you achieve better health through nature with my other love, Busy Bee’s Wellness Co.