CLA is causing quite a stir in the diet and health research communities these days. Itís not surprising, because anything that produces weight loss, whether healthy or not, quickly becomes a desired product and too many people will take anything they hear works without finding out about possible sides effects or damaging results. CLA is just that.
CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in trace amounts in food like beef and lamb and in dairy foods. It is harmless when consumed as part of these foods and beverages, but when taken as a supplement for weight loss the result may be much different. To give you an idea of how trace CLA is in our food, you would have to consume nine quarts of low-fat milk a day to get the same amount found in supplement form.
It was beginning to look like CLA was a viable weight loss tool so scientist at the
Spain began to fortify skim milk with CLA and give it to weight loss patients on a daily basis. They found that overweight subjects who drank the fortified milk daily for 12 weeks had a 3 percent reduction in body fat. They reported that there was no significant weight loss in obese subjects who drank the same amounts of the CLA fortified milk.
While this team reported no apparent safety issues from drinking the increased doses of CLA, researchers at
University strongly disagree. Martha Belury, the lead author of both studies and an associate professor of human nutrition at
University says that their studies of CLA when given to both mice and rats shows that there are very serious possible side effects.
The mice in the
State research showed rapid body weight loss which may be equal to the human weight loss in the torso documented in
State research also confirmed that those same mice had a significant weigh that accumulated in the tissue of their livers, a common side effect of rapid weight loss. Excessive fat accumulation in the liver is also linked to insulin resistance, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes.
The rats in the
State research didnít show any weight loss. Could this be the same results found in overweight and obese subjects? The mice in the OSU research were fattened up before undergoing the CLA ingestion, so they could be considered overweight but not obese.
While the verdict is still out, there is evidence to suggest that CLA may not be a safe weight loss option. There are currently no known plans to fortify skim milk with CLA, but it is marketed by certain companies in supplement form.
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