CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid predominantly found in dairy products and beef. The average diet provides 15-174 mg of CLA. CLA is touted as a weight loss supplement by helping to reduce body fat deposits and improve immune function. Biologically, CLA helps to regulate metabolism, transport fat for use as energy and build muscle. Research suggests that CLA supplementation might help decrease body fat, but it does not seem to decrease body weight.
Risks: CLA is safe to use when consumed in amounts found in foods. If used in medicinal amounts, it might cause side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue. CLA can also raise blood sugar levels so diabetes sufferers may need to be aware. Always consult your doctor prior to taking CLA.
Dosage: For reducing body fat in obese individuals, a dose of 1.8 – 7.0 g per day has been used. However, doses greater than 3.4 g per day do not seem to offer any additional benefit. More research is necessary in order to establish a recommended daily dose for CLA as well as determine its tolerable upper intake limit.