I had heard rave reviews of CLA being a miracle supplement that can reduce body fat and cellulite and even that it can make skin soft. Additionally it was suggested that it is particularly effective at reducing abdominal fat, I was sold!
Well I have very mixed feelings on this. I took it for two weeks. I actually did find my skin seemed slightly more toned, but at the same time I suffered a massive breakout all over my face and body.
It naturally occurs in meat and dairy products, and being a vegetarian perhaps my body had no tolerance for CLA due to no having consumed any for 10 yrs +
If you are a vegetarian or vegan it is difficult to find CLA without a gelatine capsule so if you wish to try it be prepared to spend a little more (I think holland and barrett stock gelatine free CLA caps).
It is an expensive supplement, and perhaps if I had continued I would have noticed a greater difference, but as it stood I was not prepared to suffer the red itchy mess that was my face for the chance of slightly softer skin.
I have to say that if you have suffered similar reactions to supplement in the past please do avoid this product.
If not, start off on a low dose for the first few weeks and if you are reaction free increase the dosage. It does have a softening effect almost immediately, and perseverance may provide better results.
Conjugated Lineolic Acid (CLA) is an "essential" fatty acid normally found in beef , cheese and milk. There was a 1997 study in the US (co-incidentally sponsored by EAS but that is another matter) that came up with signs that 30mg per day my have an effect on the amount of fat utilised by the body on a day to day basis. This study has been the main selling point for this product. In 1998 an independant US univeristy study (independant in the loosest sense if I recall it was sponsored by a different company) showed that the first set of findings were really flawed. The researchers had only tested what happened when you mixed the products in a test tube and then did some experiments on rats. Human experiments (sounds a bit mad scientist but you know what I mean!) have shown that doses up to 30g per day are ineffective and normally make the subject pretty ill. Each tablet of the EAS product has 1.5g in so you can imagine how long the 90 tablets here will last! Personally I tried this a few times (and even from different manufacturers) and it is NO USE for fat loss. That aside, the underhanded marketing misses out on the main use of CLA. As the diet industry has big bucks the companies decided that was the best way to market this. It shouldn't have been. CLA is a "good" fat (along with EPO and GLA) and is actually quite good for general health. For example it acts as anti-carnciogen, increases your natural hormone output and it helps bone and muscle creation and density. In summary, this is not a fat loss product but for people looking to improve their general health and especially if you are not eating lots of beef and cheese or milk (to get 1.5g you would need to eat about 12lbs of beef!!!) this can be a winner. As with most health supplements it may be of most benefit to people who are elderly, nursing or generaly run down. If you are on a low calorie diet which excludes fatty meats(and dairy products) th
en it comes into its own. The EAS brand is not cheap but you can get bargains (GNC gold card etc) and there are cheaper brands just as good.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a naturally occurring, conditionally essential fatty acid found in many foods which scientists have discovered to exert a positive effect on protein and fat metabolism