CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a natural fatty acid found in beef, lamb, turkey and cheese. It is a potent antioxidant, immune stimulant, and anticancer agent in all species of animals tested. It has also been found to ‘repartition’ their bodies, decreasing fat and increasing lean body mass. One human study confirms these results, with other studies underway.

Dose: 1 to 3gm per day is a normal dose for healthy people. A 70kg individual (154 pounds) would need to consume 3.5gm of CLA daily to receive benefit. Most Americans consume only 1gm of conjugated linoleic acid. Whole milk usually contains 2mg per gram of fat but can be increased by feeding cows corn oil. Supplemental CLA is usually derived from safflower and/or sunflower oil.

Preliminary studies in rat models showed that it has a powerful anticarcinogenic effect against mammary tumors. CLA may have a direct effect by reducing the cancer risk of the target organ. It is noted that, unlike CLA, most anticarcinogenic substances come from plant sources.

Cow’s Milk – CLA appears to have an antiproliferative effect on human malignancy. In vitro studies have shown that the milk phospholipid, sphingomyelin, affects three different major antiproliferative pathways which influence oncogenesis. These pathways are inhibition of cell growth, induction of differentiation, and apoptosis.

One-third of all milk triglycerides contain one molecule of butyric acid, which is a potent inhibitor of proliferation and inducer of differentiation and apoptosis in a wide range of neoplastic lines. An animal study suggests that dietary butyrate may also inhibit mammary tumorigenesis, as well as being an important colon cancer protective agent.

Previously, the richest known source of CLA was lamb, with a fairly high CLA content found in beef and dairy products.

It has been discovered that the meat of the Western Grey kangarooPreviously, in some circumstances, contains five times as much CLA as lamb’s meat. Kangaroo has other benefits as well: it’s very lean, and contains lots of iron, zinc and protein.


CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) can help with the following





Problem Caused By Being Overweight

In animals, CLA helped repartition their body weight, decreasing fat and increasing lean body mass. One human study confirms this, while another denies it. The debate continues.

A study shows that obese or overweight people who took CLA supplements every day for six months lost 3 pounds more than those who took a daily pill containing only olive oil, which doesn’t include CLA (placebo). “All effects were independent of diet and exercise,” Einerhand told reporters, adding that waist size and waist-to-hip ratio also dropped in the CLA group (waist size dropped by about 1.2 inches). As for BMI, “individuals with the highest BMI responded best to CLA,” the researchers write. [Digestive Disease Week 2006, May 20-25, 2006]

Another recent study came to a different conclusion. In March 2006, researchers reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that obese people who took CLA supplements for a year didn’t lose more weight than those who took a placebo.

However, another study supports its use!

Long-term supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces body fat mass (BFM) and increases or maintains lean body mass (LBM). However, the regional effect of CLA was not studied. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of CLA per region and safety in healthy, overweight and obese adults.

A total of 118 subjects (BMI: 28-32 kg/m2) were included in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects were randomised into two groups supplemented with either 3 x 4 g/d CLA or placebo for 6 months. CLA significantly decreased BFM at month 3 (Delta=- 0 x 9 %, P=0 x 016) and at month 6 (Delta=- 3 x 4 %, P=0 x 043) compared with placebo. The reduction in fat mass was located mostly in the legs (Delta=- 0 x 8 kg, P<0 x 001), and in women (Delta=-1 x 3 kg, P=0 x 046) with BMI >30 kg/m2 (Delta=-1 x 9 kg, P=0 x 011), compared with placebo. The waist-hip ratio decreased significantly (P=0 x 043) compared with placebo. LBM increased (Delta=+0 x 5 kg, P=0 x 049) within the CLA group. Bone mineral content was not affected (P=0 x 70). All changes were independent of diet and physical exercise. Safety parameters including blood lipids, inflammatory and diabetogenic markers remained within the normal range. Adverse events did not differ between the groups.

It is concluded that supplementation with CLA in healthy, overweight and obese adults decreases BFM in specific regions and is well tolerated. [Lipid Nutrition, press release; Mar 2007]


Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

For breast cancer prevention and treatment, it is suggested that 6 to 10 750mg capsules of CLA be taken daily. When taking CLA, the breast cancer patient also must take soy.

Tumors, Malignant  

Breast Cancer

For breast cancer prevention and treatment, it is suggested that 6 to 10 750mg capsules of CLA be taken daily. When taking CLA, the breast cancer patient also must take soy.


May do some good
Likely to help
Avoid absolutely


Fatty Acids

Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.


A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.


(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.


1000 grams, 2.2lbs.


(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.


A fat or lipid containing phosphorus found in high quantities in the brain and very important to the function of cellular membranes and to the nervous system.


Programmed cell death as signaled by the nuclei in normally functioning human and animal cells when age or state of cell health and condition dictates. Cancerous cells, however, are unable to experience the normal cell transduction or apoptosis-driven natural cell death process.


The main form of fat found in foods and the human body. Containing three fatty acids and one unit of glycerol, triglycerides are stored in adipose cells in the body, which, when broken down, release fatty acids into the blood. Triglycerides are fat storage molecules and are the major lipid component of the diet.


Butyrate is an important short chain fatty acid that provides fuel for colon cells and may help protect against colon cancer. The most potent dietary source is butter (3%).


The part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum. The colon takes the contents of the small intestine, moving them to the rectum by contracting.


An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.


An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.


Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.