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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

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  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

    Worth taking? Risky?
    Notebook of a Nutrition Nerd

    ‘THE FOOD YOU EAT CAN BE THE SAFEST AND MOST POWERFUL FORM OF MEDICINE OR THE SLOWEST RELEASING POISON' - Dr Ann Wigmore.

  • #2
    I've taken it a few times...there's a study somewhere that showed a group that lost 2% bodyfat from just the CLA when compared to the control group. Grass fed beef and dairy have a lot of it. I don't have access to those right now, so I take it.

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    • #3
      I'm taking it now. It seems to assist with weight loss especially in people who are hypothyroid. I'm doing a lot of other stuff right now (cutting alcohol, dairy, gave up soda) as well, but so far I've had no adverse affects from the CLA. I'm giving it at least through February before I make any decision on the matter.
      sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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      • #4
        I thought about taking it, then read this: http://www.eatwild.com/cla.html

        An excerpt:
        Where do you get CLA? Many people take a synthetic version that is widely promoted as a diet aid and muscle builder. New research shows that the type of CLA in the pills may have some potentially serious side effects, including promoting insulin resistance, raising glucose levels, and reducing HDL (good) cholesterol. (3)

        Few people realize that CLA is also found in nature, and this natural form does not have any known negative side effects. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grassfed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3-5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grainfed to grassfed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. (4)


        So I decided to up my grassfed meat & dairy instead.
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        • #5
          I am taking it, and it is working!

          Interesting, Minxxy, as I am hypothyroid.

          The only thing I've noticed is it makes me nauseous if I take it but then don't eat. But as soon as I eat, I am OK.
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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          • #6
            This is a tough one. Kinda

            Natural CLA found in grass-raised livestock is, I suspect, beneficial and without risk.

            Tonalin-CLA that we buy at supp stores and ingest to enhance fat loss and retain lean tissue while dieting is another story. The supp companies aren't transparent about how they're making CLA from safflower oil, but anytime we start monkeying with vegetable-based fats to make fancy new ones the outcomes seem perilous. Before I cover those perils, I'll cover the pros:

            I took Tonalin when I was dieting aggressively this past summer. For ages I've had difficulty moving subq fat from my upper abdominal area. My face, wrists, legs, and fingers can all get emaciated but my abdominal fat sits there unaffected, so I tossed caution to the wind and used CLA.

            It worked. I lost weight at a great rate, finally began losing that upper ab fat and retained my lean mass better than I normally do. And the really strange thing? The Tonalin actually redistributed some fat to my skinny thighs and made them not so out-of-proportion with the rest of my body. It also helped a little to redistribute some fat to my bum. Unlike other women, I really did need the extra fat in these areas, so I was pleased.

            Okay, now for the bad. This fat redistribution is pretty darned strange. If you look at studies on this synthetically derived CLA (the tonalin), that *is* what it's doing not just to your noticeable subq body fat, but to fat that's supposed to be in your organs in certain ratios. See this nice in-depth post at a weight loss forum. My heart did feel a bit weird when I was dieting so hard last summer. The DHA depletion may have played a role.

            That's disturbing stuff. I do hope those ratios will normalize again with time.

            At the moment I have a big unopened bottle of Tonalin left. I'm dieting off my last 2-3 pounds right now, but I can't bring myself to take the Tonalin. I also can't quite make myself toss the stuff out.

            It works. It's bad for you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by liss View Post
              This is a tough one. Kinda

              Natural CLA found in grass-raised livestock is, I suspect, beneficial and without risk.

              Tonalin-CLA that we buy at supp stores and ingest to enhance fat loss and retain lean tissue while dieting is another story. The supp companies aren't transparent about how they're making CLA from safflower oil, but anytime we start monkeying with vegetable-based fats to make fancy new ones the outcomes seem perilous. Before I cover those perils, I'll cover the pros:

              I took Tonalin when I was dieting aggressively this past summer. For ages I've had difficulty moving subq fat from my upper abdominal area. My face, wrists, legs, and fingers can all get emaciated but my abdominal fat sits there unaffected, so I tossed caution to the wind and used CLA.

              It worked. I lost weight at a great rate, finally began losing that upper ab fat and retained my lean mass better than I normally do. And the really strange thing? The Tonalin actually redistributed some fat to my skinny thighs and made them not so out-of-proportion with the rest of my body. It also helped a little to redistribute some fat to my bum. Unlike other women, I really did need the extra fat in these areas, so I was pleased.

              Okay, now for the bad. This fat redistribution is pretty darned strange. If you look at studies on this synthetically derived CLA (the tonalin), that *is* what it's doing not just to your noticeable subq body fat, but to fat that's supposed to be in your organs in certain ratios. See this nice in-depth post at a weight loss forum. My heart did feel a bit weird when I was dieting so hard last summer. The DHA depletion may have played a role.

              That's disturbing stuff. I do hope those ratios will normalize again with time.

              At the moment I have a big unopened bottle of Tonalin left. I'm dieting off my last 2-3 pounds right now, but I can't bring myself to take the Tonalin. I also can't quite make myself toss the stuff out.

              It works. It's bad for you.
              So, you stopped because of the fat redistribution and "heart feeling weird' problems? Any other side effects? How long were you using it for and, if you don't mind my asking, how many inches did you lose from your abs?

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              • #8
                I first found out about CLA (and GLA) from Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, who has a PhD in nutrition. When she speaks, I listen. She was the first one to publicly cry BS on Pritikin -- this was back in the '80s -- and was educating people way back then on the difference between "good" fats and "bad" fats and about eating lower carb, nothing processed, no sugar, grass-fed meats, omega 3:6 ratios, etc.

                There is a LOT of info on CLA on her site, where she has all the CLA studies cited. The topic comes up on her message board, and she herself will often post replies on the hardcore nutrition questions.

                She says CLA is effective and safe, and many of her followers have been on it for quite a while with no problems.

                http://www.annlouise.com/
                Last edited by TigerLily; 02-02-2011, 11:37 PM.
                "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                • #9
                  @eraserheadgirl

                  I didn't care about my heart feeling odd at the time, just chalked it up to an unpleasant effect of something in my aggressive diet. I didn't tape-measure my stomach, but judged by look and feel. The effect was not subtle and was commented upon by my sister. She actually told me "this is the skinniest I've ever seen you" and I had to correct her and let her know that I was actually five pounds heavier than that weight. (Yes, I track my body fat, so it was fat--not muscle.) The redistribution is just so noticeable that it makes me look much thinner. (No one really inspects a woman's legs to see if they resemble toothpicks.)

                  I took CLA for about a month and a half. The honest reason I stopped taking it was because the fat redistribution effect was so large that I was scared of my thighs getting bigger than they were. I have never had thigh fat like that. I looked at how many pounds I had left to lose, mentally judged where my legs and stomach would probably end up with and without the CLA and concluded my best outcome would be without CLA.

                  If I could guarantee just enhancing loss of ab fat, I might take Tonalin again. I cannot be certain my heart pounding and hurting at times was related to the CLA/Tonalin. It could have been from stress, poor sleep or any number of other factors.

                  If you have problem stomach fat and are healthy, it might be worth it to you to try Tonalin. I remain convinced it is unhealthy and will affect fat in your organs negatively, but I'm hopeful that is a short-term problem. No, I don't have any basis to believe that beyond shrugging wishful thinking.

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                  • #10
                    I guess for me, the bottom line I keep coming back to is why take a supplement if I can get it from my food? I take D as a replacement for sun exposure. I don't need to take CLA to replace anything missing--I just eat some more grass-fed meat and/or dairy. My belly fat is dropping off nicely.

                    I realize this may not work for everyone!
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                    • #11
                      ^Dr. Gittleman does say this.
                      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                        I guess for me, the bottom line I keep coming back to is why take a supplement if I can get it from my food? I take D as a replacement for sun exposure. I don't need to take CLA to replace anything missing--I just eat some more grass-fed meat and/or dairy. My belly fat is dropping off nicely.

                        I realize this may not work for everyone!
                        I read that in order to get the amount of CLA equivalent to the recommended 3.4 g/ day you would need to eat 5,000 calories of food containing CLA.

                        Or maybe just have some kangaroo? http://www.csiro.au/files/mediarelea...angaroofat.htm
                        Notebook of a Nutrition Nerd

                        ‘THE FOOD YOU EAT CAN BE THE SAFEST AND MOST POWERFUL FORM OF MEDICINE OR THE SLOWEST RELEASING POISON' - Dr Ann Wigmore.

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                        • #13
                          It doesn't sound like Dragonfly has a lot of belly fat to lose, though. Even when I weighed 112 damned pounds, I still had a muffin top. grrrrrr.....
                          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by me2 View Post
                            I read that in order to get the amount of CLA equivalent to the recommended 3.4 g/ day you would need to eat 5,000 calories of food containing CLA.

                            Or maybe just have some kangaroo? http://www.csiro.au/files/mediarelea...angaroofat.htm
                            Since the CLA supplements apparently contain a different type of CLA (synthesized from sunflower or safflower oil), I don't know if your supposition is accurate. Does Kangaroo taste like chicken?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TigerLily View Post
                              It doesn't sound like Dragonfly has a lot of belly fat to lose, though. Even when I weighed 112 damned pounds, I still had a muffin top. grrrrrr.....
                              Looks like about 5 pounds left, so no, not much to lose...
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