Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA has numerous benefits on health and fitness. CLA is particularly useful in fat loss and body building. CLA is a natural trans fatty acid that is derived from the essential fatty acid known as omega-6. Believe it or not, the essential fatty acid from which CLA is created occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal system of pasture fed animals such as goats, cows and sheep among others.
Alarm bells may be going off now… “trans fatty acid” and this could raises questions, however it is widely accepted that only synthetic variants are harmful to health. CLA is naturally occurring and extracted from dairy and beef. As with most, if not all, natural products this trans fatty acid is healthy and safe if used correctly as a supplement. Many health and fitness experts believe that CLA could be the next big thing because of the huge amount of benefits CLA has been shown to deliver.
The Active Ingredients in CLA
CLA is composed of small units known as isomers. These are the units responsible for its actions. Many different isomers have been isolated from CLA and extensively studied to demonstrate their specific effects on the body. Research indicates that all these isomers mediate various health benefits.
For instance, the most important isomers isolated from pastured beef has potential benefits in regulating body fat through its effects on fat metabolism and utilisation. On the other hand, those isolated from dairy products have cancer inhibiting benefits. These are just a handful of examples. There are, in fact, several health benefits of CLA. The main action of the CLA isomers is still to “recomp the body” by removing unhealthy fat accumulation and promoting lean muscle mass.
Sources of CLA
Although CLA is not an essential fatty acid for humans, it is very important in metabolism of fat and muscles. CLA is not synthesised in human body and therefore has to be obtained from the diet. In addition to beef and dairy products, the other dietary sources of CLA are avocados and olive oil. However, the amounts are so small that you would have to eat masses of food to obtain your daily requirement. Of course masses of food leads to masses of calories, so supplementation of CLA should be a consideration to save putting on any unwanted weight.
Benefits of CLA
CLA supplements are highly concentrated. When taken alongside a natural CLA-ingesting diet, they can have tremendous effects on weight loss and body building as well as other aspects of health. CLA has been a popular dietary supplement since 1990s. Thousands of people around the world who want to gain body muscle mass, get rid of fat and look better have found this natural product very useful.
If you want to say goodbye to stubborn belly fat, gain lean muscle or simply improve your health, then CLA is a fantastic tool in your armoury. In addition, you may even have an added level of protection from many forms of cancer, heart and vascular diseases. CLA is safe to use by anybody keen on improving their appearance and staying healthy.