Do CLA Pills Really Work for Weight Loss?

CLA Pills and Supplements – Effectiveness and Fat Burner Results…

Lots of people want to lose weight, and for the most part they sure would appreciate it if they can do that easily. The problem is that losing weight is actually extremely difficult since it involves adhering to a low-calorie diet and a strenuous workout regimen. Sticking to that kind of plan requires impressive mental discipline as well. But sometimes the right supplements can really help, and for many this means taking CLA supplements in pill form. But do CLA pills really work for weight loss?

What are CLA Supplements?

CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid, and it’s a type of omega-6 fatty acid that’s naturally occurring in dairy and meat products. Studies done in the early 2000s indicated that it can help as a supplement for people who wish to lose weight, and over the years more recent studies have confirmed its benefits for weight loss.

The discovery of CLA was accidental when it occurred in 1978. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin were investigating carcinogens in beef, and they stumbled upon CLA as a result. A first, the interest in CLA was because it had anti-carcinogenic properties. It was years later before people learned about its benefits for weight loss.

How Does It Help People Who Want to Lose Weight?

CLA pills have become quite well-known as weight loss supplements because it works very well with many people. It seems apparent that the best CLA supplements help people to lose weight in several ways.

  • It makes it easier for the body to burn off stored fat cells. The classic principle of weight loss is that you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs to use up. Thus, the most basic strategy is to limit your calorie intake with a restrictive diet, while you force your body to require more calories by working out harder and more regularly. This will force your body to compensate for the missing calories (which work as your body’s energy fuel) by burning off your stored fat cells instead.

By taking CLA supplements, your body finds it easier to burn off these fat cells. The process of burning fat cells is called lipolysis, and your body produces hormones such as adrenalin and glucagon that stimulate this process. The addition of CLA pills into your diet helps accelerate the process. What’s more, having more energy in readiness encourages your body to work out more strenuously. This again encourages your body to burn up even more fat.

It’s interesting to note that the fat loss resulting from CLA supplementation occurs mainly in the arms, legs, and belly. So while most of the time you can’t force your body to burn off fat where you want, with CLA you can now at least start with the fat in these areas.

  • By providing more readily available energy from your stored fat cells, you can work out harder so that you can enlarge your muscles. This specifically results in greater lean muscle mass, which means you gain bigger muscles without bulking up.

This is especially important for people who want to lose weight who also don’t want to lose muscle mass as well. Often when you’re trying to lose weight, you may also end up losing muscle mass too. With CLA, you can retain muscle mass while you shed off your excess pounds.

It’s this special ability of CLA that’s quite beneficial for the cutting phase of muscle building. In the bulking cycle, people can enlarge their muscles, but then they bulk up everywhere and they tend to gain fat and water too. In the cutting cycle, people work out so they can lose the fat and water they’ve inadvertently gained, while trying to retain the larger muscles they’ve developed. With CLA, they’re more likely to succeed.

  • CLA also helps increase your metabolism. A simple way of describing your metabolism is it’s the rate by which you use up calories for all your actions. If you have a fast metabolism, then it’s great for your weight loss efforts because you quickly use up the calories you’ve consumed through your diet. You’re then forced to burn off fat cells to compensate, and a faster metabolism means a faster rate of bringing of the fat for energy.

Unfortunately, the human body tends to adapt very well to quickly changing circumstances. So when you suddenly restrict your calorie intake, your body reacts by slowing down your metabolism. While this evolutionary adaptation helps you survive starvation in the long run, it doesn’t quite help you in your weight loss efforts. So it’s a good thing that CLA maintains your regular metabolism even as you reduce your calorie intake.

Scientific Evidence

In the early years of CLA research, the bulk of the studies involved testing on laboratory animals such as lab mice and guinea pigs. These studies indicate how CLA enabled fat loss and boosted the metabolism. However, some skeptics remained unconvinced, citing the simplistic objection that “people aren’t mice.”

However, in recent years there have been some notable tests with actual human subjects, and the results have been very encouraging.

  • One study had 24 newbie bodybuilders who took either CLA supplements or a placebo for 6 weeks. After the test period, it was found that those who took the CLA were able to develop bigger muscles, while they were able to burn off more fat.
  • Another study had 180 overweight men and women participating for an entire year. They were set randomly into 3 groups: one took off-the-shelf CLA pills, another took CLA syrup disguised as a capsule, and the third had capsules which actually contained just olive oil.

They were not told to change their exercise or dietary habits, though they could consult a nurse for any advice on exercise and diet. In the end, all of them reduced their caloric intake on their own, while they also tended to get the same level of exercise.

At the end of the study period, the 2 CLA groups lost a few pounds, though the placebo group remained at the same weight. The CLA groups also exhibited improvements in muscle mass. These CLA groups also showed a 7 to 9 percent reduction in body fat, while there was no body fat loss among those in the placebo group.

It was also significant that there were very few people who dropped out of the studies. This indicates that the CLA didn’t cause any troublesome side effects.

  • Another study had 20 men and 40 women who were either overweight or obese. They were divided into groups that either took different doses of CLA or a placebo. After the end of 12 weeks, it was found that those who took CLA showed a significant decrease in body fat mass, even while they slightly increased their lean body mass. They were also able to improve their muscle strength.

How Do You Take CLA Properly

What you need to do is to make sure that you follow the supplement instructions to the letter. This starts emphasizing the kind of people who shouldn’t take CLA. These are kids younger than 18 years old, and people who have other serious medical issues aside from obesity.

If you have trouble with your blood pressure, then you need to clear it with your doctor first before you take CLA. The same goes if you’re taking any prescription medication. It’s also sensible to refrain from taking it if you’re pregnant.

CLA is also known for its stackability. You can use it alongside most of the other health supplements out there.

Some of the hype that surrounds CLA is that it seems to help with weight loss even without any special efforts with your diet and exercise. But it makes more sense when you use it with a proper diet and a vigorous workout routine. CLA supplements are actually quite helped especially with diets designed for quick weight loss, such as the 2-Week Diet by Brian Flatt.

Potential Side Effects

For the vast majority of CLA users, side effects aren’t an issue. It’s actually very safe. However, a handful of people do develop a few irksome side effects.

A few have developed some GI side effects, such mild stomach upset when taking CLA. The severity of this problem can be greatly reduced by taking your CLA with your meals. Also, you should start with a low dosage at first before you gradually increase your CLA dosage.

Others may be allergic to CLA, and their allergic reactions can include itching, skin rashes, and perhaps even breathing difficulties and swelling in the face. You must stop taking CLA when you develop allergic reactions. Fortunately, the allergic reactions disappear once you discontinue your CLA intake.


All in all, there are a lot of good reasons why you should consider CLA supplements. It really does help with body fat reduction and with larger lean muscle development. It’s very safe too.

Just don’t assume it’s a magic pill. Add CLA to your low-cal diet and vigorous workout, and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised at the results.

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