Are you wondering, what the heck is CLA and how can it help you lost weight?
What are the basic components to losing weight? Basically all the stuff no one wants to do:
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Sleep 8 hours a night
- Control stress
Because not everyone has the time, energy or motivation to handle all these things, often times, people look for an easier solution to losing weight. And sometimes, they turn to the easiest solution there is – taking weight loss pills.
Regardless of some side effect risk, this is an extremely popular method for losing weight.
This is not to say that all weight loss pills work the same. Also, taking a pill alone, CLA or any other kind, is not enough by itself to really lose weight.
Diet and exercise are absolutely key to losing weight. No supplement can replace that fact, not CLA, not any other.
But here’s some insight into the world of pharmaceuticals – within the last few years, the FDA decided to revamp the requirements for weight loss studies. This is causing a few ripples in the drug industry.
Did the requirement insist on safer standards for weight loss drugs?
How about a longer study or inventions?
The newest requirement from the FDA is… drumroll please …. Any new drug that promotes weight loss will need to be paralleled to some type of diet and exercise.
Now, this will be only at a minimum intervention, but still. It still shows you that exercise and diet are the best way to guarantee weight loss.
Surprised? We’re not.
Before this requirement came about, any weight loss drug was simply compared to a control group that received a placebo supplement, which means no diet and no exercise. Meanwhile, the supplement test group would eat a controlled diet and exercise as part of the trial.
This means anything that was discovered showed how the drug worked, but didn’t remove the impact of diet and exercise. So what the heck is the point with that?
So now, they’ve discovered that drugs can actually help people lose some weight. But, these new control groups are losing more. Like, a lot more.
What does that mean? You guessed it.
Diet and exercise. These are the keys to losing weight. And yes, they work a lot better than any type of weight loss pill alone.
What if you combined diet and exercise AND an effective weight loss pill? CLA might just be that answer. Let’s explore.
Cla Side Effects And Your Plateau
A lot of dieters talk about plateauing. And a lot of other people don’t know what this means. Plateau just means that the person has been following a diet and/or exercise regimen and he or she has been losing weight, but progress has stalled.
After time, your body gets used to your routine and stops responding. You stop losing weight. What can you do? Boost up your routine, even if it’s already a struggle?
What about adding the right supplement to boost your body’s efforts?
There are a few supplements that have shown some pretty promising results when it comes to weight loss.
One of those is CLA. And the main question on just about everyone’s mind is – Does CLA work?
Let’s look a little more in depth at CLA weight loss and what exactly it does.
CLA = Conjugated Linoleic Acids.
What’s that mean?
CLAs are a group of fatty acids. They have different biochemical makeups than linoleic acid. And, much unlike any varying fatty acids, they contain a cis-double bond, as well as a trans-double bond.
So CLAs are actually trans-fats. They’re produced naturally when we eat and start digesting unsaturated fats (in foods like cows and sheep.
Now, various CLAs have different names depending on where bonds occur.
So what the heck does all of this mean? Why does it matter for your weight loss goals? What does CLA do?
Well, you should know there are different types of CLA. Some of them are a lot better for helping you drop the pounds than others.
What is Cla And Their Uses
We’re going to look at a study that compares c9, T1 1-CLA to a blend of c9, t1 1-CLA and t10, c12-CLA in terms of weight loss.
Now, the study was just a piece from a larger study and it looked at 81 post-menopausal women that had a BMI under 35. These women had no hypertension, regular medications, or chronic diseases. These women also hadn’t had their menstrual cycles in over 12 months.
There wasn’t any kind of requirement in terms of physical activity. One thing to take note of, however, is that the study took place in Denmark. People of Denmark are actually known for their physical fitness and being in good shape. Like, freakishly good shape. Sorry to everyone else.
Anyway, to ensure that everyone had a similar diet, all participants were required to write a journal for 3 days. The journal was focused solely on their diet and they all needed to record each and everything they consumed over the course of 3 days.
In this specific study, they looked at three groups to compare results and determine the effectiveness of different types of CLA for weight loss.
Here are the groups:
- CLA Mix
This was given at about 5.5 g. each day. The dose consisted of 2.3 grams of CLA c9, t11 + 2.2 grams CLA c10, c12-CLA. It was about 40$ of each one of these.
- Olive Oil
Kind of an unexpected twist, huh? This was given as a control because OO is considered to be either impartial or moderately helpful for blood lipids. The dosage for this was 5.5 grams each day, with 4.2 grams of oleic acid.
- C9, t11-CLA
Now, this is the CLA you can generally find in milk from cows. This dosage was given at 5.5 grams test fat each day, aka 4.7 grams of c9, t11-CLA.
So here’s what all the participants of the study did.
Every day, they took a total of 6 pills of either the CLA mix, the olive oil, or the c9,t11-CLA.
Here’s the trick though – the researchers never told them who was taking what.
And another sneaky twist:
The scientists wanted to ensure everyone was, in fact, ingesting their pills. So, they decided to give them a few extra pills for an entire month. No one knew this amount, only the scientists. Then, by the end of the month-long period, they went through and counted to see how many pills were still hanging around. If there were too many left over they would know that a particular participant didn’t remember to take a certain amount of pills.
All of this was done over a period of 16 weeks.
How Cla Works for Weight Loss And It’s Testing Procedure
Beforehand, the researchers figured out the total amount of body fat all participants.
They used dual energy X-ray absorptiometry – or, the better shorter nickname, DEXA.
DEXA is generally known to be the best for measuring body composition.
Because it literally provides you with a picture of a whole body, instead of taking samples. Plus, there’s no need to stress about inaccurate results due to things like excess gases.
Here’s the downside:
DEXA can be expensive and hard to get access to the necessary equipment.
Back to the participants. Right before and right after the test subjects took their mysterious doses of supplements, they had blood drawn. Adipose tissue biopsies were conducted as well.
Not sure what a biopsy is like? Researchers took a 17-gauge needle and grabbed a sample (adipose tissue) from the outer area of the buttocks. Ouch.
What’s with all the blood? How about the fat samples?
Researchers needed to make sure all the participants were, in fact, taking the pills. And they also wanted to see if any hormones changed during the process.
Now, if the participants were ingesting their capsules as they were directed, researchers would see a jump in specific kinds of fats. For example, the participants that were taking the c9, t11 CLA, would obviously have more c9, t11 CLA within their blood.
Now, the study found similar results (to an extent) with fat. However, fat level changes generally take a bit longer to show up in analysis.
Basically, instead of physically watching people to see if they were taking the instructed supplements, the researchers decided to just check the subjects’ blood. If researchers didn’t see any changes within the blood fatty acids, they knew that participant was not taking them.
Researchers also wanted to check if the supplements had any effect on glucose or insulin levels. If any improvements showed up, that means that certain supplements might help diseases like diabetes.
The whole fat sampling was conducted in order to weed out if taking supplements changed adipogenic gene expression.
Wondering what that means?
That’s just a fancy way to say fat gene production – basically, how much of a gene is responsible for fat production. Here’s how that works – various genes build various proteins, but just having that gene isn’t guaranteeing that your cells are producing anything. Your cells are actually the ones that decide if more or less glucose transporters should be made.
Case in point – either you got ‘em or you don’t. Either way, gene expression is adaptable.
Anyway, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – the outcome!
Speed Up Metabolism With CLA?
After the allotted time was up, the CLA-mix group showed elevated levels of both c9, t11-CLA and t10, C11-CLA in comparison to the group with the OO. And, of course, the c9, t11-CLA group saw higher levels of c9,t11-CLA. These levels were checked through the blood samples.
With a total of 75 participants finishing the study (maybe the others butts got too sore), the supplements DID in fact INCREASE the fatty acid in their blood, as expected.
So basically – is CLA fat burner a quality approach to weight loss? Well kind of.
Results all came down to the kind of CLA the members ingested.
One specific group saw an improvement in their body composition. However, the other did not.
Despite the fact that there wasn’t any difference in body weight, there were definitely differences in things like lower-body fat and total fat. The varied CLA-group saw 4% less total fat and 7% less lower-body fat when compared to the OO group – and the c9, t11-CLA group!
So the mixed CLA group scored a big win.
Remember earlier how we said they were excited about the possibility of lower glucose and insulin levels?
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
What basically came out of the study was this:
Taking a CLA supplement can help cut back on body fat – however, it needs to be a specific mix of CLAs.
Now, as we said, the varied CLA group was made up of 40% c9,t11-CLA and 40% t10,c12-CLA. This is the group that saw the biggest results. The c9,t11-CLA didn’t perform.
When you’re dieting properly and exercising regularly, and you’re going to turn to supplements to get you to the next level, choose wisely.
For losing weight, go with a blend of t10,c12-CLA and c9,t11-CLA. Now, we aren’t saying you’re going to turn into a stick and see some overnight insane results, but it’ll help.
Like we said, the mixed-CLA group had about 7% less low-body fat at the end of the study. What does that equal out to? 1 and a half pounds.
That’s something to be considered. It’s a small change, but regardless, it’s a change.
As always, diet and exercise should come first.
These are the biggest result-drivers you’ll ever find. But if you’ve given it all a try, and you still aren’t losing weight, you could give the mixed CLA a try to see if it gives you the boost you need.
But, first make sure your diet and exercise are on point. Without this, weight loss supplements are probably a waste of your time. And your money. And possibly your motivation. So eat clean, train dirty and then consider the right supplements.
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