Reduce Abdominal Fat With CLA
Wednesday, October 15th 2003
Many New Zealand men carry excess abdominal fat often referred to as a "beer gut". However it also appears to occur in men who do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol. A study with Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) showed reduced abdominal adipose tissue in obese middle aged men. Abdominal obesity is strongly related to metabolic disorders so these men also have associated risks of cardiovascular disease.
The discovery of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) caused a scientific sensation some years ago. This fatty acid found in red meat and cheese showed strong anti-cancer properties, was particularly effective in inhibiting breast and prostate tumors, as well as colorectal, stomach, and skin cancer, including melanoma. Scientists found CLA to be more strongly anti-carcinogenic than other fatty acids. What made CLA especially unique is that even low concentrations significantly inhibited cancer cell growth. The FDA has published research attesting to the anticancer properties of CLA.
What is CLA?
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a fatty acid naturally present in ruminant meat and dairy products. Due to changes in the Western diet, average intake of CLA has fallen; if the fat is removed from a dairy product to make a low fat version that will be acceptable to consumers, CLA is removed along with it. Moreover Dr Einerhand explained that CLA is metabolised by bacteria in the stomachs of cows from the grass they eat.
CLA use is largely based on its two-fold effect: the reduction of fat mass and the induction of lean body mass. The mechanism of action has been well studied; if fat consumed is not used for energy, the triglycerides are taken up by fat cells - a mechanism for which the enzyme lipoprotein lipase is responsible.
CLA inhibits this enzyme, and instead the triglycerides are diverted to the muscle cells to be burnt. Here the CLA induces the activity of another enzyme which is responsible for oxidation and the burning of fat.
Results from New Trial of CLA
The new placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind study was conducted at an independent research institute and involved 180 obese or overweight adults. Over a six month period they received either 3.4g of CLA each day, or a placebo (olive oil).
Dr Einerhand said that the results were already evident eight to 12 weeks into the study, but at the end of the six months the effect on fat mass was seen to be around 2kg compared to the placebo. Lean body mass was seen to increase by an average of 0.4kg in the CLA group, over the placebo group. But the area in which the study really shed light was the location of fat mass reduction - seen to be focused on the abdomen and the legs.
In a sub group of 41 participants, the researchers measured insulin sensitivity - an important consideration since overweight or obese people may run a higher risk of metabolic syndrome or full-blown type-II diabetes "We needed to be sure that it does not affect insulin sensitivity," said Dr Einerhand. Not only were the researchers satisfied that insulin sensitivity was not impaired, but the trend (although not significant) was towards improvement.
Special Benefits For People With Thyroid Conditions.
* Increases metabolic rate.
* Decreases abdominal fat - adrenal imbalances and hormonal shifts that are common in people with thyroid conditions frequently cause a rapid accumulation of abdominal fat.
* Enhances muscle growth.
* Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides since many people with thyroid problems have these problems.
* Lowers insulin resistance which can help prevent adult-onset diabetes and make it easier to control weight.
* Reduces food-induced allergic reactions.
* Enhances immune function.
CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two thirds of diabetic patients and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels.
CLA is used by body builders to drive glucose into muscle cells to produce anabolic effects. Dieters use this same sugar burning mechanism to prevent serum glucose from turning into body fat.
CLA also has antioxidant properties, and has been shown to prevent muscle wasting (an anti-catabolic effect).
Keep in mind that CLA is not a magic pill for weight loss. People also need to start a programme of healthy eating and exercise in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off.
Sourced from the July - September 2006 and October - December 2003 issues of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain:
Cell Food Natural Burn Formula
Clean Lean Protein
Garcinia Cambogia and Ultimate Colon Cleanse + Detox
TummyTone - CLA
IsoWhey Weight Management - Madagascan Vanilla®
Super African Mango 1200
Related health information can be found here:
Aspartame - NutriSweet, Neurotoxin
Carbohydrate and Protein Content of Foods
Need a performance boost? Try Carnitine to improve fat burning and reduce muscle fatigue
Water, the Elixir of Life
What is cholesterol?
Related articles can be found here:
Get moving gym-free!
Hoodia - A Natural Supplement that kills the appetite and attacks obesity!
Metabolism: The Fat and Thin of It
Not Only to Fight Obesity and Depression - Rhodiola - More Powerful than Ginseng!
The Mood Food Connection
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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