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  1. #1
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    Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), body composition, and my search for truth

    Hello,

    I am 6' 175 male, 20 years old. My body fat is roughly 15% and I want to bring it down. I am down from 215 or so since I started working out and dieting. I am no longer dieting, and my weight has been the same for about 2 or 3 months now. I want to get down about 10 pounds but I really want to lose fat instead of destroying my muscles, or even maintain weight and lose fat.

    I work in a health food store and more or less feel like a lot of the stuff I stock is snake oil. I take just a couple things (a multi, octacosanol, a special formula made by my boss, and a protein recovery drink) and i was wondering if anyone had heard of CLA. It is touted as a supplement that has the ability to lower body fat and increase lean muscle mass as well as a host of other benefits, inluding anti-cancer effects. Apparently it is a fatty acid that is lacking in our diet since it comes from grass fed beef, and most beef is grain fed now.

    Some swedish study and a few other studies have shown that it does what it says it does. I have read the swedish study and the sample size was small, but they claimed there was a significant decrease in body fat among the 20 people. The test was double blind, etc, just small. The studies show that (of course) in conjunction with a healthy diet and moderate exericise your body fat can be significantly lowered. They also gave mice 50 times the equivalent recommended dose for human consumption and they mice were later autopsied and showed no signs of toxicity. Some mice also showed tumor shrinkage. There are, however, very few studies on it.

    Besides all of these things, it sounds like CLA is just plain good for you, so here I am, getting sold on health food, which I just called snake oil.

    Does anyone have any experience with this stuff?
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  2. #2
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    I read the study and hear the same thing. Unfortunately, you have to take a lot of it for it to work (when it does work), and that stuff doesn't come cheap. You buy a bottle, pay 20- 30 bucks for a 10 day supply, and it may take 5- 6 weeks before you even start to see the effects. It really doesn't seem worth it.

    Koffee

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    i haven't looked at the study, but wouldn't it be more cost effective to just eat grass-fed beef on a regular basis? it's findable at places like whole foods.

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcenroe
    ...I work in a health food store and more or less feel like a lot of the stuff I stock is snake oil....
    You already know the answer.

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    well... i have taken it and did not notice much of a difference... but i did suffer from one of the side effects.. it did bloat me up.. so i quit taking it...
    The only way i have lost body fat was to stick to fruits, chicken and veggies... religiously...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    How about just the grass itself? Wheat grass. And for fatty acids, I think you're referring to Omega fats, omega 6? You can find that in flaxseed products.

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    Does flax seed contain CLA, I thought that I heard that it is a good source of CLA, but I am not quite sure.

  8. #8
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    Most CLA is manufactured from safflower oil. I get a good discount, I can get the stuff for nearly cost. 180 caps from NOW at 3 a day provides 2.4 mg of CLA, some studies suggest 3.4 mg if I remember correctly, which is 4-5 a day I suppose. I am thinking about trying it when good weather starts so I can get out and ride.
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  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    About the CLA. let's say you take it and it works. What happens when you quit taking it? I suppose you eventually go back to where you were before? Does that seem worthwhile to you, to spend a lot of money and then be right back where you started?

    Isn't 175 a good weight for your height? Maybe you want to improve your body composition by gaining more muscle rather than just losing fat? If so, that's where your effort should go.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
    How about just the grass itself? Wheat grass. And for fatty acids, I think you're referring to Omega fats, omega 6? You can find that in flaxseed products.

    CLA is an omega 6 fatty acid. Flax seed is an omega 3 fatty acid.

    Koffee

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    About the CLA. let's say you take it and it works. What happens when you quit taking it? I suppose you eventually go back to where you were before? Does that seem worthwhile to you, to spend a lot of money and then be right back where you started?

    Isn't 175 a good weight for your height? Maybe you want to improve your body composition by gaining more muscle rather than just losing fat? If so, that's where your effort should go.
    Ok, here is the rundown on the study from what I remember. The study suggests that what you said is not true, which is what I am also hoping to find out for myself. Supposedly their is no significant weight loss with CLA, rather there is just a fat loss and a tendency to pack on muscle instead of fat.
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  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcenroe
    Ok, here is the rundown on the study from what I remember. The study suggests that what you said is not true, which is what I am also hoping to find out for myself. Supposedly their is no significant weight loss with CLA, rather there is just a fat loss and a tendency to pack on muscle instead of fat.
    I don't know of any supplement that causes a permanent change in the body, even after you quit taking it. What makes CLA diferent?

    Also don't most people already get an abundance of Omega 6 FAs in their diet? I know Andrew Weil, for one, encourages people to eat less of the Omega 6 and more of the Omega 3.

    "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  13. #13
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    I agree, even dieting does not make a permanent change to the body. It is all about good nutrition. My point was that the study suggests that stopping the CLA is not correlated with fat gain as long as you maintain good dietary/exercise habits. It is not like coming off of steriods when your muscles turn to mush and you get fat.
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  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Gotcha. Thanks!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    Senior Member pedex's Avatar
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    exercise, exercise, exercise...........then work on diet, lots of exercise hides a multitude of dietary sins

    there's no free lunch, eating is easy, exercise isnt, guess which is more effective?

    I think you will find, barring steroids, HGH, and EPO, most "atheletes" eat a pretty normal and natural diet, as much as possible in this day and age of genetically modified foods and livestock pumped up with all sorts of chemicals LOL. Veggies and grains are usually pretty safe, and getting enough protein is rarely a problem for most people.

  16. #16
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    Yeah, I know. I am just looking to see if anyone has experience with the product. Trust me, I know there is no free lunch. I work in a health food store with a boss who cures cancer all the time and just takes iodine when she wants to lose weight (neither of which are true). I am all too familiar with "free lunch" which is what most people come in looking for. Trust me, I am not going to quit riding or eating well, just doing some research, and I think I may embark on a human study.

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  17. #17
    "Great One" 53-11_alltheway's Avatar
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    CLA is junk. Its just a trans fatty acid.
    "The Iron never lies to you. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go, but 200 pounds is always 200 pounds." -Henry Rollins

  18. #18
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    The real thing is the only way to go. IE, eat grass fed beef! I certainly do and its great stuff. If CLA suppliments are made from Sunflower oil then I would be dubious about its benifit.

    Regards, Anthony

  19. #19
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG
    eat grass fed beef! ... If CLA suppliments are made from Sunflower oil then I would be dubious about its benifit.
    I don't know--the squirrels and blue jays around here seem to be pretty healthy!

    What is a good source of grass fed beef?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #20
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't know--the squirrels and blue jays around here seem to be pretty healthy!

    What is a good source of grass fed beef?
    Well since I'm in Australia thats going to be hard for me to answer. Contact your local chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation, http://www.westonaprice.org/localcha...locallist.html

    They should know.

    Regards, Anthony

  21. #21
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Jarery

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    CLA is an omega 6 fatty acid. Flax seed is an omega 3 fatty acid.

    Koffee
    I don't have the Canadian data with me now, but flaxseed oil contains both Omega 3 and 6

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
    I don't have the Canadian data with me now, but flaxseed oil contains both Omega 3 and 6
    I don't think so. But here's the data to ease your mind about flaxseed. It only has omega-3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaxseed

    Koffee

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't know--the squirrels and blue jays around here seem to be pretty healthy!

    What is a good source of grass fed beef?
    someone mentioned whole foods above, but beware, last i checked their beef is "organic" etc. but NOT grass-fed. I buy my grass fed beef from uswellnessmeats.com. it's kinda pricey but damned good.

  25. #25
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't know--the squirrels and blue jays around here seem to be pretty healthy!

    What is a good source of grass fed beef?
    Just eat the squirrels and jays.

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