Why CLA for Weight Loss may Hurt your Health?

Cla for weight loss

Cla for weight loss – one of the newer buzzwords in natural weight loss vitamins. Its touted to help with experimental cancers, building lean muscle mass and helping fat metabolism.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

The dairy people seem to think so. You see, cla is found naturally as a result of the action of bacteria in a cow’s stomach on linoleic acid. (cla can be made by other means too – but this is how it occurs naturally as opposed to in a lab. Commercial preparations of cla for weightloss tend to use the bacteria without the aid of the cow’s stomach).

Actually, cla for weight loss might be a great product for cow’s wanting lean meat … especially in the summer months with all that beach weather.

There is some scientific literature to support an anticarcinogenic effect in mice. This is considered due to the antioxidant effects. So I guess the bottom line is – if you have mice and they need to diet, why not give ’em cla for weight loss!

The question remains – what about cla for weight loss in us humans?

A well respected source on healing fats, Udo Erasmus isn’t so keen on cla. In fact, he does not recommend cla for weight loss.

Normal linoleic acid (cla for weight loss ‘cousin’) has what is called cis double bonds. This looks like a kinked molecule. These fit the body perfectly, and are the means by which essential fatty acids do all their good work. Change the chemical bond structure even slightly, and you prevent essential fatty acids from doing their essential work.

But the cla in cla for weight loss has two trans double bonds. Trans double bonds also occur in hydrogenated fats like margarine (You didn’t really think margarine was good for you did you?). These are not recommended for a healthy body because …

  • Trans Fats like cla for weight loss Do Not Promote Health
  • Trans fatty acids interfere with the body’s normal processes

they increase cholesterol
they increase low density lipoproteins (LDL)
——-> both of these are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

they decrease high density lipoprotein (HDL), which is beneficial to the body

they interfere with the liver’s normal detoxification system
——-> the liver enzyme affected also metabolises carcinogens


they interfere with essential fatty acid function

they make platelets more sticky.
——-> Sticky platelets can increase clotting, and the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

they affect the cells’ membrane. They make it difficult for some molecules to get in, and for others to get out.
——-> This in turn can effect cell vitality, immunity and allergic reactions.

  • they interfere with pregnancy
  • they correlate with low birth weight in humans
  • they lower the quality of breast milk
  • they increase blood insulin in response to glucose
  • they decrease insulin response

they interfere with the production of prostaglandins, which affect muscle tone in the walls of our arteries, amongst other, arterial related functions.
The Dutch government were so concerned with the effects of trans fatty acids on our bodies that they banned the sale of margarines that contain trans-fatty acids. And they have the longest life expectancy amongst industrialised nations. Coincidence? I wonder what they would say about cla for weightloss!

Interestingly, you’ll see in some literature touting cla for weight loss and some cancers, the point that it is more stable than linoleic acid. That is true. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean they are better used by the body. It is good for manufacturers though, as stability means a longer shelf life and more cost effective manufacturing techniques. Trans fats behave more like saturated fats, and we all know about saturated fats in excess.

The good news is that you can get the same effect of fat conversion from the much healthier essential fatty acids – taken in the right combination, and in sufficient amounts, than you would for cla for weight loss.

Why essential fatty acids are good for you?

(and why they help dieters better than cla for weight loss)

they increase metabolic rate in our body when present in levels above 12-15% of total calories. This is what helps dieters, and why you don’t need cla for weight loss. The increased metabolic rate burns more fat and results in loss of excess weight.

  • used for hormone-like functions that affect many tissues in the body (they are the precursers of prostaglandins)
  • constructs cell membranes
  • create electrical potentials for cellular activity
  • can be used for fuel for energy
  • attract and help transfer oxygen on a cellular level
  • used in nerve impulses, by the brain, the sense organs, adrenal glands, the testes
  • can buffer excess acid and excess base in our system

This relates to our body’s ph balance. A typical western diet often leads to a condition of excess acidity, which has been related to disease conditions.

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