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CLA from Primordial Performance.
What is CLA?
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a naturally occurring fatty acid that reduces fat and increases lean muscle. CLA improves body composition by reducing fat storage and increasing protein retention at the same time. At the clinically effective fat loss dose, our will last 30 days.
In a nut shell, CLA is the fat of champions, created to build us a better body, a better immune system, and better arterial health. (1) CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid, created by fermentative bacteria in the stomachs of various plant eating animals. It makes its way to our diet primarily from beef and dairy products. Since the human body cannot produce its own CLA, it must be taken through food.
Unfortunately, most of today's grain fed cattle, and conventional dairy has far less CLA than it did in the 1960's, thus leaving us with a less-than-optimal amount of CLA (about 300mg/day for the average dairy consuming American). (16-19) Unless you have access to an endless supply of natural grass-fed beef and dairy, CLA supplementation should be a staple in your supplement regimen.
Dozens of human studies have confirmed CLA can significantly reduce body fat, while increasing lean muscle at the same time. (1) CLA puts the triple on fatty tissue by killing fat cells, preventing new fat cells from being created, and preventing fat storage. (11-14) At the same time, CLA helps increase protein retention for lean muscle growth. (15) This means you can reduce flabby abdominal tissue, while simultaneously replacing it with hard dense muscle.
How exactly does CLA burn fat & increase lean muscle?
CLA alters your metabolic equilibrium for steady fat loss, rather than fat gain. It appears to accomplish this by three main mechanisms Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
Decreases fat cells by encouraging adipocyte apoptosis through TNF-a stimulation in white adipose tissue (increases fat cell death). (11,12)
Prevents adipocyte differentiation by suppressing C/EBPa (reduces fat cell creation). (13)
Reduces accumulation of fat in adipose tissue by inhibiting GLUT-4 (prevents glucose conversion to fat). (13,14)
The mechanism by which CLA increases lean muscle seems to be from its repartitioning of insulin-responsive glucose transporter 4 (GLUT-4). More specifically, CLA causes a simultaneous decrease of GLUT-4 in adipose tissue, while increasing its concentration in skeletal muscle tissue. (13,14) This increased concentration of GLUT-4 in muscle tissue allows more glycogen to be used for fueling and repairing your muscles, while allowing less glycogen to be stored as fat in adipose tissue. (15)
What kind of results should I expect?
Consider CLA as a long-term insurance plan to protect & polish your valued physique. The average America will gain 1 lb of fat per year, every year. (1) However, with CLA supplementation you can avoid this fat gain and actually become leaner. For example, in one study, men and women who took 3.4 g/day of CLA lost 4 lbs of fat over a 12 wk period, while the placebo group gained 3 lbs of fat. (29) In another human study, participants who took only 3.2 g/day of CLA lost 2.2 lbs of fat over a 6 month period, whereas the placebo group gained 1.5 lbs of fat. (10) In a 12 month study, subjects lost an average of 5.3 lbs of fat with 4.5 g/day of CLA supplementation, compared to the placebo group who gained .5 lbs of fat. (21) These results are quite significant considering that these studies were measuring actual fat tissue (not water weight) in non-exercising individuals.
Interestingly, CLA appears to target fat loss in "problem areas" dependent upon the sex. For instance, men who took 4.2 g/day of CLA for 4 weeks, showed significant reductions of fat from the abdominal region. (20) Whereas another study with overweight women showed a significant and targeted reduction of fat tissue around the thighs. (22) Who said spot reduction was impossible anyway?
What is the cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 all about?
These are known as different CLA isomers. The c-9, trans-11 is the most abundant CLA isomer found in nature, while the trans-10, cis-12 appears to be the most metabolically active for improving body composition. However, it's been found that supplementing with equal amounts of both CLA isomers produces the desired effects without any side effects. (28) Our CLA ethyl ester provides the ideal 50/50 mix of the c-9, trans-10 and trans-10, cis-12 isomer.
What about the studies that say CLA is ineffective for fat loss?
Take this quote from the 2007 CLA study analysis by Leah D Whigham et al. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
"Our findings indicate that the 10 human studies that showed no statistically significant effect of CLA on fat mass lacked statistical power because the treatment duration was too short, there were too few subjects, or both. For example, based on the average difference in change in fat mass of 0.09 kg/wk between CLA treatment and placebo, the expected difference at 12 wk would be 1.1 kg. Because the average SD for within-individual change in fat mass was 2.6 kg, it is estimated that it would require 44 participants in each group to have an 80% power to detect this change with a P _ 0.05"
What about the studies that have found CLA to be pro-inflammatory?
Some studies have mentioned a concern for CLA's ability to increase "inflammatory biomarkers" such as C-reactive proteins and cell count. (2,3) However, other research has shown CLA to be an anti-inflammatory, while actually reducing the risk of inflammatory related diseases, such as atherosclerosis. (4-9) Despite the fact that CLA raises certain inflammatory related "biomarkers", there have never been any human studies showing that CLA will increase inflammatory related diseases or symptoms. (1)
And what about the studies that showed CLA to reduce insulin sensitivity?
The only studies that have ever shown a reduction of insulin sensitivity in humans after CLA supplementation have been from the use of single isomers of CLA. (23,24) As it was explained earlier, an equal mix of the two CLA isomers has been shown to be safe & effective for humans, without posing any risk for decreasing insulin sensitivity. (25) In fact, multiple human studies have shown that a 50/50 mix of the c-9, t-11/t-10, c-12 isomers actually increase insulin sensitivity. (26-28) It's been hypothesized that the two aforementioned CLA isomers have a unique antagonistic relationship, thus preventing any possible negative effect on insulin metabolism when used together in a 50/50 ratio. (24)
Chalk up another health benefit for CLA!
How much CLA should I take, and when should I use it?
The recommended dose of CLA is 2 softgels, taken twice daily. This provides 3200mg of CLA, which is the same clinically effective dose that has shown to reduce bodyfat and increase lean muscle.
For the more dramatic results, up to 8 softgels can be taken daily.