On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering a supplement question from a viewer who asked: is CLA bad for you or is it good for weight loss?
If you’re not familiar with CLA, a.k.a. conjugated linoleic acid, it’s a naturally occurring omega 6 fatty acid that is found in certain foods.
It’s also gained popularity as a highly marketed “fat burning” supplement.
And yes, it’s important to buy meat and dairy that is pasture raised, since grass fed beef and dairy contains up to 2-3 times more CLA than grain fed beef and dairy.
CLA may help you lose weight via improving insulin sensitivity by making the cells more receptive to insulin, as well as stimulating thermogenesis, which helps the body burn more calories.
Based on research on animals, it was shown that the supplementation of CLA helped increase the production of enzymes and proteins to reduce body fat, and help prevent future fat gain.
This is why you see synthetic versions of CLA added to many weight loss and fat burner supplements.
But, even if research shows CLA may help burn body fat in animals, is it significant in humans?
First off, if you’re one of those people who watch late night infomercials about 6 minute abs, and magical fat burning pills, stop.
Abs are not made in 6 minutes and no diet pill will make you lose 30 pounds in 1 week.
If you’re a Live Lean TV subscriber, you know the most important aspect of weight loss is eating the right types of foods, that fill you up, while moving your body more effectively, to create a healthy calorie deficit.
You also understand, weight loss is an ongoing process.
Think of it this way.
The body fat accumulated over time.
So don’t be deceived into thinking weight loss will effortlessly happen overnight, by taking some fat burning diet pill, or doing 6 minutes of crunches.
Sustainable weight loss is accomplished by coaxing your body to burn body fat over time, not over night.
Sure our Live Lean message may not be as sexy as what some bullsh!t supplement companies will promise you, but here’s the difference.
So now that that little rant is over, here’s what the latest research on human CLA supplementation shows.
When tests were done on humans, they showed CLA supplementation had small and minimal effects on weight loss.
The type of CLA found in most supplements, is different than the CLA found naturally in pasture raised foods.
The CLA found in pasture raised foods, is far superior in fat burning compared to the CLA found in most supplements.
The CLA in many supplements tend to be derived from sunflower and safflower oil.
Plus they need to be taken in larger doses, just to have a minimal fat burning effect.
If you watched my video on the best cooking oils, you know vegetable oils like sunflower and safflower oil are high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
So higher doses of a CLA supplement may put you at a greater risk for increased inflammation.
The amount of fat burning via CLA supplementation is minimal, and in my opinion, not worth your hard earned money.
As I always say, you can’t out supplement a bad diet.
I’d rather see you invest your hard earned money into pasture raised, grass fed beef, that naturally contains CLA, and a whole bunch of other healthy fat burning and muscle building nutrients.
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Thanks for watching, and keep Living Lean.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.