Benefits of CLA Supplements – Should You Take Them?
Linoleic acid is one of the most essential unsaturated fatty acids out there. Present in different forms called isomers, this fatty acid serves as a precursor for a number of important biochemical compounds. One of the most intriguing isomers of this compound is what they call conjugated linoleic acid, better known by its acronym CLA. Found in specific food sources, it is now becoming popular as a dietary supplement.
Before going further, it is important to get to know CLA first. CLA, just like most linoleic acid homologues, is a form of linoleic acid. As something that cannot be produced within the body, this fatty acid can only be acquired through dietary means. Mainly derived from animal food products such as beef, lamb, and whole milk, it is considered as a potent antioxidant, anti-carcinogen, and immune enhancer. Scientific interest in this compound first started in 1988 when researchers from the University of Wisconsin discovered in an animal experiment the ability of CLA to fight cancer.
So what are the benefits of CLA supplements? Here are just some of the best things you can get from adding this supplement to your diet.
Improved muscle mass – A lot of people are taking CLA supplements as a means for improving their body mass. Conjugated linoleic acid can help in building muscles by driving glucose into muscles, promoting anabolic processes that initiate growth. At the same time, with more available glucose, your muscles gain improved strength and endurance.
Reduced body fat – Consistent CLA supplementation can trigger fat loss in many ways. First, it increases the person’s basal metabolic rate by promoting muscle development. Second, it increases the body’s insulin sensitivity, which promotes the mobilization of fat as an energy source. In the long term, these effects will help shave off body fat and improve any person’s muscle-fat ratio.
Reduced blood pressure – Cardiovascular diseases triggered by increased blood pressure is one of the leading killers of today. CLA can be an effective intervention for reducing blood pressure.
“taking conjugated linoleic acid along with ramipril seems to reduce blood pressure more than ramipril alone in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure.” – WebMD
Improved immune function – Increased immunity is essential to ensure health. Consuming CLA supplements is directly linked to improved immune system function, essential for avoiding infection-triggered diseases. It is also linked to a reduction of food-induced allergic reactions, which is an example of an abnormal immune response.
Cancer prevention – Cancers can have a devastating effect to any person’s health. Given this, one of the most important benefits one can get from CLA supplementation is a reduction cancer risk. This protective effect is perhaps tied to its anti-catabolic effects. Research has been done regarding CLA’s role in cancer prevention, including cancers of the breast, colon, and rectum.
While researches are still ongoing regarding its health-giving benefits, the health-giving potential of consuming more conjugated linoleic acid is simply too strong to ignore. Add this to your diet and you can dramatically improve the state of your health. If you are looking for a good CLA supplement to take, we recommend BioTrust’s BellyTrim XP as one of the healthiest and most effective CLA supplements.