Losing weight can be a challenge especially if you are overweight. Also trying to build up muscles can also prove to be challenging. These challenges arise because your body might not take up the changes as quickly as you want it to and especially if you are overweight, the energy required to lose to the right weight size is a lot. There are various supplements that help solve these challenges. One of them is CLA, which helps you lose weight as well as develop lean muscles.

What is CLA?

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) consists of geometric isomers of linoleic acid. These isomers are found in meat and dairy products.

According to research, CLA has been identified to have numerous benefits for athletes and bodybuilders. CLA stimulated its first scientific interest in 1988 when a researcher from the University of Wisconsin discovered that it had anti-cancer properties when he fed fried hamburgers to rats.

Since that time it has been claimed that CLA has anti-oxidant, anti-catabolite, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It has also been claimed that CLA boosts immunity, burns fat, and helps build and retain lean muscles. CLA is not produced by the body but can be obtained by consuming foods like butter, milk, lamb, and beef.

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What are the benefits of CLA?

Other claimed benefits of the CLA supplement include;

Reducing insulin resistance; because of its ability to reduce insulin resistance, it helps prevent adult diabetes and helps to control weight.

Reduces allergic reactions that are food induced

Increases metabolic functions; the fatty acids contained in the supplement helps in losing weight as well as increasing metabolic functions.

Most of the scientific evidence presented so far has serious doubts when it comes to the claimed benefits of the CLA supplement. However, there is some scientific evidence that proves the claims to be true. Below is a deeper look at each claim and the research evidence to back the claim.

Claim and research evidence

Reduces body fat

There are several studies that have shown that taking the supplement leads to fat mass reduction. One study took over 125 people and spent two years observing them and found that consuming 3.4 grams per day of CLA helps reduce body fat in people that are overweight and helps maintain long-term initial body fat reductions.

Another study that was published in the Lipids journal arrived at the conclusion that consuming 4.2 grams per day of CLA reduces body fat proportions in humans without having any effect on body weight. That conclusion can be interpreted to mean that the lean mass increased because there was an improvement in body composition without loss of weight.

American-Society-for-Clinical Nutrition published an analysis that comprised of 18 studies illustrated that consuming 3.2 grams per day of CLA leads to a moderate-loss in body fat in humans. Another research from the Journal of Internal Medicine demonstrated that CLA reduced body fat in who were healthy and who had a normal body weight. International

Journal of Obesity illustrated that CLA reduced fats in the abdomen for obese men, and scientists from Louisiana State University showed that there was an 88% body fat reduction in male mice that were fed with CLA for 6 weeks.

There are other studies however that show that CLA does not reduce body fat. For example, the Journal-of-Clinical-Nutrition published in 2004 a review of every study of CLA on humans in the past.

From that review, the authors concluded that 2 studies only showed a significant body fat reduction. The authors added that the effects of CLA in people is insignificant than what is expected from studies conducted on the mouse.

Reduces insulin resistance

Studies carried out on rodents illustrates that CLA reduces insulin resistance. There is also a study done on young humans who are sedentary and found that CLA had a positive effect on insulin reduction.

However, there are other studies that dispute this claim. Instead these studies show that CLA can increase insulin resistance and can worsen insulin resistance for existing diabetes in people.


CLA is claimed to be an anti-inflammatory. However, several major studies have disputed this claim. These studies demonstrated that lipid peroxidation increased, and increased several inflammatory markers in men who were overweight. Another study demonstrated an increase in isomer dependency (C-reactive protein) contained in CLA and oxidation stress.

Anti-cancer properties

American-College-of-Nutrition disputed this claim saying that despite the fact that there is evidence of anti-cancer properties in animals, this is not sufficient evidence to recommend it as a cancer treatment. It proposed that more studies with tumor models need to be carried out to determine the effectiveness of CLA in treating and preventing cancer in humans.

Effects on appetite

One study has shown that CLA makes one feel less hungry and in turn, makes one feel fuller. Although, this didn’t translate into weight change or reduced intake in energy.

How does CLA work?

CLA reduces body weight because it increases basal metabolic rates. This enables the body to convert food into energy more effectively. The end result is a right balance in the body fat-muscle ratio.


The research results on CLA can be interpreted in both ways. That is the supplement can be taken to have the benefits as claimed or the claims are not justified enough.

Taking CLA on a daily basis is not harmful to the body since it is contained in natural foods such as meat, lamb, and milk and there is no harm in trying it out in case you need to lose weight or have lean muscles. Even if CLA does not turn out to be a miracle cancer cure, insulin resistor, appetite reducer, or even a miracle anti-inflammatory, it will continue to be a popular dietary supplement because of its irrefutable ability to help with weight loss and development of lean muscles.

Therefore, consuming 3-4 grams/day-of-CLA is reasonable based on research but should be done under the supervisor of a trusted healthcare provider.
Consuming CLA supplement alone does not lead to automatic weight loss or development of lean muscles. The supplement only helps you achieve your weight loss goals but this can’t be achieved with a sedentary lifestyle and having the same diet that is full of junk. Thus, if you are using the supplement you need to be exercising.

The side effects of CLA are rare and the supplements are best taken before or with meals. Also researchers from the University of Alberta are trying to find ways of increasing CLA levels in milk by adding oils such as safflower, linseed, and canola to the dairy feeds. This means that in the future, by simply consuming milk you will have met the daily dietary requirements for CLA. So taking milk with thus helps you lose weight and have lean muscles. Until then, CLA supplements are the only effective way of taking it.

Here comes the top ten best CLA Supplements

10. NOW Foods CLANOW Foods CLA


This product is made from a non-GMO safflower oil. It is also affordable so that you can spend within your budget to have that body that you desire. It comes in soft gels so that you have no problem ingesting this into your body.


– Help reduce weight.

– Retains muscle mass.

– It is all natural.

– Very affordable.


– May have side effects with some people.

9. Ab Cuts CLAAb Cuts CLA


If you are looking to have the fat around your abdominal region as well as hips and the thighs reduced, then this is the supplement to use. It also contains omega three oil, vitamin E as well as flax seed to give you a perfect formula for your weight loss and staying healthy.

It comes in easy to swallow soft gels so that you need not worry about that while it is also proven to have health benefits to you.


– Fat reduction is guaranteed.

– It is affordable.

– It is easy to swallow.


– Might get some people bloated up.

8. MRM CLA 1250MRM CLA 1250


This supplement is derived from safflower seed oil meaning that it is an all natural supplement. It has soft gels, and it is the most efficient as well as economical way to get the CLA that your body needs. It does an excellent job in reducing your weight as well as reduction of the fat storage in you.

Even when you are dieting, this supplement will ensure that you feel strong and healthy all the time while at the same time speeding up the rate at which the fat burning is done.


– Weight loss is guaranteed.

– Fat loss is also a surety.

– Very affordable.


– May not work well with some people.

7. Viva Labs Extra Strength CLAViva Labs Extra Strength CLA


This is the CLA supplement that guarantees the management of weight in an all-natural way, so you never have to worry as you work out. It also does the splendid job of helping you fight off any sugar cravings that you might be having.

Your lipid scores will be significantly improved as well as soon as you start using this supplement. Your muscle tissue is preserved as well and is not lost during the weight loss process. Another significant aspect of this is the fact that your immunity is increased as well.


– Aids in insulin resistance.

– Lipid metabolism in your cells is increased.

– Fat metabolism is also increased.

– Immunity is increased.


– Some users may develop side effects.

6. Natrol Tonalin CLANatrol Tonalin CLA


If you have been looking for a CLA supplement that is sure to reduce that body fat that you do not need while at the same time retaining the muscle, then this is it. It contains the all natural CLA which is made from safflower oil. It is bound to work if you use it as indicated.

This is the best to help anyone that is doing workouts but does not seem to be making any headway.


– Guaranteed to help you lose weight.

– Retains the muscle mass that you have.

– It is not expensive.

– It is all natural.


– May contain soya.



The best this about this particular brand of CLA supplement is the fact that it is a pre as well as a post workout supplement which is just fantastic news for you. It contains a revolutionary toning formula that makes its potency even better. Another great thing about it is that it supports a body composition that is healthy.

It is an all natural supplement that comes from the safflower oil that makes it even better for you health wise.


– Best for bodybuilders and athletes.

– It is an all natural supplement.

– Revolutionary in CLA supplements.

– Very affordable.

4. CLA 3000CLA 3000


When you are working out but do not notice any significant results from all that training, then this is exactly what you need. This is the kind of CLA product that promotes fat loss in a healthy way, so you do not have to worry about any risks. It will give you the strength you need to go on as it has been clinically proven.

There is none on the market that can be compared with the level of satisfaction that you can get with this supplement. The fact that you are guaranteed your money back if you do not see any results is what makes this a top choice.


– Clinically tested for increased purity.

– It is very affordable.

– Guaranteed fat loss supplement.


– May not work if not used properly.

3. Muscle Pharm CLAMuscle Pharm CLA


A CLA supplement that does not just give the best results to its users but makes sure that they have the best experience using it. It is manufactured with the highest purity that you can find, and this means that the quality is top notch as well. Your excess body fat is reduced significantly without reducing your body muscle at all.

So, if you are working out and do not seem to be getting anywhere, then this is exactly what you need.


– Very affordable.

– Guaranteed purity as well as quality.

– No muscle mass is lost.


– Might not work well with some people.

2. BulkSupplements CLA SoftgelsBulkSupplements CLA Softgels


So, if you have been looking for the ultimate CLA product that will give your body the results that it desperately needs, this is that product. It contains clean as well as pure soft gels which mean that there are no fillers at all. It has been tested in the lab to ensure that it is pure enough so that you can use with no worries.

It also does the fantastic job of boosting your immune system and burning your muscle mass while at the same time burning that excess fat away. The best part about it is that it also increases your metabolic rate.


– It has been lab tested for purity.

– Your immune system is boosted.

– Your metabolic rate is increased.


– It may not be vegetarian-friendly.

1. Naturewise CLA 1250Naturewise CLA 1250


This is the kind of product that is sure to work on its first try. You are guaranteed body fat mass loss buy you have to include this in your everyday diet which should change. It is pure as well as of the best quality that you can find, and it is a source of up to 80% CLA.

So, what you get with this product is one that will work wonders on your body that you won’t recognize yourself as well. This is the leading brand in CLA and using it is a plus for you.


– Provides your body with a source of fuel.

– Helps break down the excess fat in your body.

– Increases apoptosis.


– May not work if not used correctly.