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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is an essential fatty acid related to linoleic acid.

Natural Sources:

Dairy products and red meats are excellent sources of CLA. However, it could be found in eggs, chicken, corn oil, and safflower oil as well.

Athletic Benefits of CLA:

The rising popularity of CLA among athletes results from its ability to reduce body fat, Sports Performance Enhancers CLA 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnaugment muscle mass, and decrease weight. Recently, it has been marketed as the “belly fat buster”. Potential athletic benefits are:

  1. Changes body composition.
  2. May help decrease body fat.
  3. May improve immune function.

Non – Athletic Benefits of CLA:

  1. May have a protective effect against cancers, especially colon and rectal cancers.
  2. Weight loss. Being used as a weight loss accelerator, CLA does not have the same effects on everybody and may exhibit different results. Better results can be achieved if CLA combined with an exercise program.     


Abazar`s Classification for CLA Consumers:



CLA Positive


They respond to CLA and the results vary: decreasing body fat, losing some weight, or decreasing waist size.

CLA Negative


They do not respond to CLA at all.

CLA Paradox


They get opposite results, which means they gain weight or their waistlines increase.


The exact mechanism by which CLA paradox happens is not clear. However, it has been postulated that CLA paradox stems from developing insulin resistance.

Dosage, Side Effects, and Interactions:

The recommended dose of CLA is 3000 – 4000 mg per day. For an optimal absorption, it is better taken with foods. CLA may cause stomach upset, nausea, soft stools, mild diarrhea, and fatigue. It may aggravate inflammation.

CLA is not recommended in the following conditions:

  1. Diabetes.
  2. People with schizophrenia taking anti-psychotic medications.
  3. Along with medications for mania.