Its name is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA for short), and itís one of the least understood of the essential fatty acids (EFAs). Thanks to new research, we now know that CLAís job is to make sure the fats we eat are converted into muscle and energy. Without CLA, dietary fat is simply stored as new fat cells. And that, researchers say, is why Americans are having so much trouble controlling their weightóbecause CLA is missing from our domestic foods.
Since the body canít produce CLA on its own, we must get it from our diet. (Chief sources are beef, milk, and dairy products.) But researchers have found the CLA content of these foods, if produced in the U.S., has fallen to almost zilch since 1950. Thatís around the time farmers began feeding cattle and dairy cows in feedlots, instead of grazing them on grass pastures. By comparison, the pasture-fed beef of Australia contains 400% more CLA than ours!
To make matters worse, Americans are eating less beef and dairy products in an effort to slim down. But this is having a backfire effect, because it further reduces their CLA levels. As a result, itís even harder to lose weight!
But eating more of these foods wonít help either. You still wonít get enough CLA unless the products are pasture-raised, which can be pretty pricey.
The best short-term solution is CLA in supplement form. Some pretty impressive research has shown they can produce a dramatic reduction in body fat. Early experiments with mice found that adding CLA to their diet caused an 88% reduction in body fat in just 6 weeks. And human studies are also amazing.
In both men and women, CLA supplements produced body fat reductions of 20 percent, on average, in just 12 weeks. More dramatic results are possible with a few eating changes and a little exercise.
New CLA studies are currently underway and ALTERNATIVES will be following them closely. A few cutting-edge companies are experimenting with ways to increase CLA levels in milk, butter, cheese, eggs, and beef. But it still will be years before any of these products are ready for the market.
Conjugated linoleic acid is much more in pasture-fed Beef. The best essential fatty acids (EFAs),is CLA.
Below is a animal study on CLA
J Food Sci. 2007 Oct;72(8):S612-7.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) prevents body fat accumulation and weight gain in an animal model.
Park Y, .
Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass in mice, rats, and pigs. A recent human trial indicated that CLA may work more effectively if used for prevention of body fat deposition and weight gain. To test this hypothesis, we conducted 2 experiments using relatively old mice (older than 6 mo): experiment 1, supplementation of CLA during dietary restriction and experiment 2, supplementation during ad libitum feeding followed by restriction. In experiment 1, there were significant effects of diet restriction and CLAsupplementation on body composition, while CLA decreased body fat content in ad libitum diet but not significantly during diet restriction. In experiment 2, CLA fed animals had body weights similar to restricted animals and CLA significantly reduced body fat (significantly lower than prior to and post restriction, or pair fed). This suggests that CLA exerted modulation of body fat independent of reduced food intake. Based on these results, we concluded that CLA may be more effective at protecting against fat mass regain following weight loss than as a weight loss treatment