Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Digestion and Stomach
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Conjugated linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid naturally found in meat and dairy products and offers a variety of benefits to the body. CLA supplements are mostly prepared from safflower oil. These supplements are prescribed for weight loss and fat burning however there is limited research on digestion and stomachic.
What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid?
While many people associate “butter and beef” with heart attack and weight gain, the fact is that all kinds of natural fats are harmless and even advantageous when taken in high quality and in moderation. Linoleic acid is a set of chemical compounds found in fatty acid which is collectively known as conjugated linoleic acid.
Conjugated linoleic acid is a type of polyunsaturated fat, mainly the omega-6 fatty acid found in foods. Research showed that conjugated linoleic acid improves general health and well-being. It helps promote weight loss, aid in muscle building, prevent cancer, strengthen bones, prevent atherosclerosis, boost digestion and normalize blood sugar levels.
Does CLA Improve Digestion?
Studies revealed that CLA supplements have the potential to reduce body fat by improving digestion. Moreover, it accelerates the body’s process of converting food into energy. According to a study, CLA has the potential to prevent the deposition and enlargement of fat cells resulting in maintaining body weight. However, no study found that they help promote appetite.
According to a review study, CLA supplements can improve digestion and are responsible for breaking down fat in the body. In addition to weight loss effects, CLA also increases lean mass in different species.
In another study published in the journal of nutritional biochemistry, conjugated linoleic acid decreases adiposity due to its effects on lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, inflammation, and adipogenesis. Various animal studies showed that CLA is also associated with improved energy expenditure, stimulated fat oxidation, and browning of subcutaneous white adipose tissue.
Human studies on the effects of CLA supplements on digestion and reduced body fat showed mixed results. A study showed that the consumption of CLA supplements in obese and overweight people results in decreased body fat and increase lean body mass. While other studies showed similar results that CLA supplements do not improve lipid levels, inflammation, and glucose levels in overweight individuals.
Help Balance Blood Sugar Levels
Studies suggest that the consumption of CLA supplements helps improve insulin levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. They may regulate blood sugar levels and prevents diabetes.
Relieve Allergies and Asthma Symptoms
Studies showed that supplementing CLA for 12 weeks results in improving the symptoms related to seasonal allergies. They may be used as an effective natural remedy to relieve inflammation and reduce asthma symptoms. The research also showed that CLA supplementation also improves airway sensitivity.
Improve Muscle Mass and Strength
Studies on the effects of CLA supplements showed conflicting results. Research suggests that taking CLA with other supplements like whey proteins and other muscle-building formulas may help improve lean tissue mass.
Help People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
CLA supplements are known to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Consumption of CLA alone or in combination with other supplements like vitamin E can improve inflammation, and relieve pain and morning stiffness.
May Prevent the Growth of Cancer
Research showed that CLA supplements have the potential to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. Conjugated linoleic acid like rumenic acid has the ability to reduce inflammation, decrease oxidative stress and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
May Improve Heart Health
High blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis are the leading drivers of a heart attack. Studies showed that CLA supplements help reduce blood pressure, regulate cholesterol levels, and prevent the deposition of fats in the arteries walls.
Food Sources of CLA
According to a report, certain foods are an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid.
- Butter (obtained from grass-fed cows)
- Fats from dairy products like cream, milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Dairy products prepared from sheep or goat milk
- Seafood like turkey
The percentage of CLA varies from 0.34-1.07 of total fats found in dairy products. The amount of CLA and healthy fats depends on the condition and diet of the animals. Beef (grass-fed) possesses a high level of CLA than those fed farm animals.
Dosage of CLA Supplements
There are no standard guidelines regarding the dosage of CLA supplements, however, several studies used the dosage of 3g per day. Research conducted on fat loss used a dosage of 3.4-6.8 g per day.
Studies revealed that a dosage of 6g per day is safe when used for one year however, more research is needed to evaluate the effects of high doses for a longer period.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
CLA offers a wide variety of benefits to the body when used in moderate quantities. They are considered safe when used in moderate quantities from food such as milk and beef. When taken in supplement form or as medicine they are associated with some potential risks. High doses may lead to potential side effects like indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach.
Studies revealed that when used in large doses, CLA supplements may cause unusual fatigue and make it difficult to remain active throughout the day.
They may also cause some stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
It is suggested to consult your physician before taking these supplements if you are suffering from some heart disease or diabetes.
There is not enough information regarding the safety of CLA supplements on pregnant and breastfeeding women. To be on the safe side, it is suggested to avoid its consumption during pregnancy and lactation.
CLA supplements are believed to be possibly safe when taken by orally in form of food for up to 7 months. However, no reliable information is presently showing the safety of these supplements in children for longer periods.
Conjugated linoleic acid has the potential to slow blood clotting and should avoid in people with bleeding disorders as it may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Conjugated linoleic acid is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid found naturally in foods. CLA supplements are prepared from safflower oil and offer a variety of benefits to the body. They may improve metabolism, increase weight loss, promote digestion, relieve inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis, improve heart health and increase lean body mass.
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