Properties of the CLA
Published: 15 June, 2015 - Updated: 23 March, 2021 | 2'
What is the CLA and what is it for?
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is an essential Omega-6 fatty acid found in large amounts in many vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil or sunflower oil, as well as in the milk and meat of ruminant animals. Carthamus tintorius seeds have a fat content of 25-40%, of which linoleic acid is 63-72%.3,5
Effects of CLA on body weight
In the weight loss process, the CLA has two important ways of acting. On the one hand, it reduces the ” build-up ” of fat deposits in the tissues (lipogenesis) and, on the other hand, it enhances their ” destruction ” (lipolysis). It also acts at the muscular level by optimising the metabolism and improving muscle mass2,4.
In other words, CLA favours the disappearance of fat deposits in the body, while at the same time it restores strength and tone to the muscles, preventing flaccidity.
Overweight and obesity
Overweight and obesity are an excessive or irregular accumulation of fat that implies a health risk, since it can increase disorders related to organic systems such as the cardiovascular, renal or cerebral systems, and cause metabolic problems such as diabetes or hyperlipidemia, among others.
When we lose weight our Body Mass Index (BMI) changes suddenly, which is the weight in kilograms divided by our height in metres (kg/m2). As a result, the muscles and skin mainly lose elasticity and have poor tone, and joints and some metabolic processes can be affected.
Weight control, muscle and skin firmness
Therefore, diet together with a weight control plan, is of vital importance to keep the lean mass and firmness of the skin, as well as to optimize the metabolic processes, which lead to obtaining the body contour according to the weight reduction, a good physical function and quality of life.
CLA in overweight
The use of CLA in overweight has been evaluated by different clinical studies of up to 1 year duration, concluding that using doses between 1800-3000 mg a day produces a 6% decrease in body composition and adipose tissue, increasing muscle mass by 5% as well as reducing waist and hip contour by over 4% 1,2,6,7,8,9.
Heart and lipids (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid acts on the cholesterol level. Different studies show that an additional intake of CLA helps with cholesterol levels (LDL and HDL) and triglycerides. Therefore, CLA can help us with metabolic indicators such as fasting glucose, triglycerides and bad/good cholesterol ratios.1,6,7,8
- Ebrahimi-Mameghani, M. et al (2016) Conjugated linoleic acid improves glycemic response, lipid profile, and oxidative stress in obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Croat Med J.
- Ederich Lehnen, T. et al (2015) A review on effects of conjugated linoleic fatty acid (CLA) upon body composition and energetic metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
- Dixit, A. (2015). A Review on Potential Pharmacological Uses of Carthamus tinctorius World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.
- Koba, K. et al (2014). Health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.
- Asgarpanah, J. et al (2013). Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Medicinal Properties of Carthamus tinctorius Chin J Integr Med.
- Norris, L. E et al (2019). Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with saflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr.
- Gaullier, J. M. et al (2005). Supplementation with Conjugated Linoleic Acid for 24 Months Is Well Tolerated by and Reduces Body Fat Mass in Healthy, Overweight Humans. Nutr.
- Gaullier, J. M. et al (2004). Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr.
- Yurawecz, M. P. et al (2006). Advances in Conjugated Linoleic Acid Research-Volume III. AOCS Press.