For several years CLA has been seen as the ” wonder ” to become slim. But research shows that this may be a devil in disguise rather than a rescuing angel.
The Food Safety Authority issued a couple of years ago and warned certain groups of the population against using CLA. Pregnant, breastfeeding and many obese should simply abstain from this dietary supplement, the authorities believe. The reason for the warning is that the Norwegian Food Safety Committee on Food Safety, VKM, made the following statements:
- If pregnant women take CLA (conjugated linoleic acids) as supplements, this may have adverse effects on both the child’s birth weight and length.
- In breastfeeding mothers who use CLA supplements, the fat content of breast milk decreases, which is unfortunate for the child.
- If you have high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes, you should not use CLA.
- The use of CLA may in particular be unfavorable to those with insulin resistance. This applies to very many obese – and the few know that they are insulin resistant
Trans fatty acids are naturally formed in ruminants in ruminants, and therefore milk fat contains some trans fatty acids, including CLA. Milk, along with meat, is the main source of CLA.
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A few years ago, there was a shock through the slim game market – the new CLA product had arrived. This fatty acid should be able to convert fat to muscle – without any changes in diet or lifestyle.
With a well-documented effect on rats, sales went straight ahead. But why were the health authorities so reserved for this product?
CLA – a trans fat
CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid, and is several different fatty acids with two “crackers”, and should belong to the group of polyunsaturated fats. But CLA is a trans fatty acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has a special shape on its knees.
This form makes the body not recognize CLA as soft unsaturated fat, but like a hard saturated fat.
Thus, CLA has the same negative health effects as saturated fat, which is associated with increasing the level of unfortunate LDL cholesterol.
Fat comes in many types, from the softest softness, like oils and liquid margarine – to the hardest hard, such as dairy mites and coconut fat. How soft or hard the fat is is due to the chemical structure of the fatty acids in the fat.
Fat looks like an E, with a backbone of glycerol and three arms – fatty acids – that may be right or have one or more crevices.
Correct fatty acids are called saturated fat and are cholesterol-increasing and thus unfavorable to heart health. This type of fat is found in fat meat products and in whole dairy products.
One-legged fatty acids are called single-fat, and do not affect cholesterol. Olives and avocados are rich in this type of fat.
The last type of fat, with multiple cuts, is called polyunsaturated fat and is cholesterol lowering. In this group we also find the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, which we rely on to be fed from the diet.
We find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, most plant oils, in oily fish and cranes, as well as in soft plant margarines.
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Transfett also appears to play a direct role in various inflammatory reactions in the body, including in the cells that lie along the blood vessels. Irritated walls in the blood vessels mean higher risk of heart disease, which can explain why trans fat appears to have a more harmful effect on cardiovascular disease than what the cholesterol increase alone would indicate.
Trans fatty acids also affect the immune system, which can mean worsening of rheumatic disorders and autoimmune diseases. And research also shows that excessive intake of trans fat over time increases the risk of a number of cancerous diseases.
CLA from diet
Trans fatty acids are formed naturally in the rumen of ruminants. Therefore, milk fat contains some trans fatty acids, including CLA.
The content of CLA in Norwegian dairy products is 0.3 – 1.3 g / 100g milk fat – that is, not per 100g product! Whole dairy products such as butter, cream, cream and whole cheese contain more CLA per 100 g of product than light and lean variants.
Trans fatty acids are also formed under certain forms of curing unsaturated fat, such as in the margarine industry. Margarine was previously the largest source of trans fatty acids in Norwegian diet, but now margarine is prepared so we avoid trans fat. Therefore, milk fat and meat products are the main source – also for natural CLA.
CLA as a dietary supplement
CLA is made in the laboratory from another fatty acid, linoleic acid. It is mainly the laboratory-based CLA fatty acids used in weight studies, and the various dietary supplements with CLA on the market are based on these fabricated compounds.
It is still allowed to sell dietary supplements with CLA because it is not dangerous, the Food Safety Authority. The purpose is only to inform certain parts of the population about the risk. The disadvantage is that the target group for dietary supplements with CLA is just overweight – a group that, according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, should be careful about the product.
Of course, it’s up to anyone to try a dietary supplement on the road to a slimmer line. But the lasting effect on the scales, and the inner health benefits of losing weight, you only achieve by eating healthier and being a bit more physically active in your daily life.
After a number of promising animal studies, a Norwegian study of 60 overweight or obese subjects was initiated. Participants were divided into four groups who either received CLA capsules in three different doses or capsules with olive oil (control group).
47 of the 60 subjects completed the study in the 12 weeks it lasted. At the end of the experiment, all participants measured their body fat percentage. And the results looked very good: Everyone who had eaten capsules with CLA had reduced fat in the body, compared to those who got olive oil.
The reduction in body fat was significant for those who received 3.4 g or 6.8 g of CLA. No significant changes were found in the body’s muscle mass or the amount of free fat in the blood.
Capsules without effect
But although this study from 2000 was positive, recent studies have not always been able to show the same effect.
Some researchers point out that the types of CLA packaged and sold as dietary supplements are not the same types used in the medical studies. Thus, the effect on the weight is small or away.
But as if it were not enough for the slimming capsules you buy for expensive money does not work, more studies also indicate that there are directly unfortunate aspects of CLA supplements: abnormal cell growth in liver, liver inflammation, insulin resistance (precursor to type 2 diabetes) and reduction of fat levels in breast milk (unfortunate for the baby)