There’s been a lot of talk lately about Saf Slim – a safflower oil supplement – being a better fat-loss remedy than Conjugated Linolenic Acid, or CLA. But what exactly is CLA in the first place, and what can it do for you?
Studies show that CLA can play a vital role in reducing body fat and improving muscle tone. Researchers think that CLA helps reduce body fat deposits by promoting apoptosis (programmed cell death) in fat cells. In two different double-blind, 12-week studies, CLA supplementation has been shown to promote a decrease in body fat. In one study, 53 men and women supplemented with 4,200 mg CLA daily or a placebo. Body fat decreased a significant 3.8 percent in the CLA-treated group, compared to placebo.
Other research suggests that consuming 1,800 mg or 3,600 mg CLA daily also reduces hunger and improves satiety and feeling of fullness, compared to placebo. CLA may increase insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in diabetics; so individuals with diabetes who take CLA should closely monitor their blood sugar levels.
To determine the effect of CLA supplementation over a one-year period, 180 overweight or obese men and women received 4,500 mg CLA daily or placebo while consuming a diet without any calorie restrictions in a double-blind study. The results demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in body fat mass in the CLA group compared to placebo, and a statistically significant increase in lean body mass (i.e., muscle) compared to placebo. These changes were not associated with diet or exercise.
Both short-term and long-term research suggests that supplementation with CLA by overweight and obese individuals is associated with a reduction in body fat. For those wishing to try CLA, I recommend a supplement providing 1,200 mg CLA per softgel capsule. At this dosage level you can emulate the amounts given in research by consuming three or four softgels daily, divided between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To read more and to view the references for this article, visit www.VivaVitamins.com/Viva_GeneBruno.html.
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