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Nutritional supplements

CLA supplements shown to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass; study examines effects of this healthy oil

Thursday, June 10, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: nutritional supplements, lose weight, weight loss


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A new study being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that daily consumption of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) helped overweight adults lose a significant portion of body fat (up to nine percent, says the study). Of course, the study was funded by Tonalin, makers of the most popular CLA nutritional supplement, so the findings aren't surprising. Other clinical studies have found a variety of results, but the consensus is clear that CLA does, indeed, help people lose weight even as the degree of that weight loss is hotly debated.

CLA is a particular form of dietary fat, so the obvious question here is: "How does eating fat cause you to lose fat?" Answering that question requires a closer look at the fat-free craze of the last two decades, where doctors were telling people to avoid practically all dietary fats and, instead, eat as much refined sugar and carbohydrate as they wanted. It was this sort of advice that resulted in hoards of consumers sitting around on their couches, watching TV and consuming a dozen fat-free donuts in one meal while telling themselves, "It's healthy! My doctor says I'll lose weight!"

The result of all this is the alarming rise in obesity and diabetes our population has experienced over the last two decades. Consuming unlimited quantities of sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods, it turns out, actually raises triglyceride levels in your blood and damages your pancreas to boot. As we now know, the body needs dietary fat, and it is the type of fat that determines the health outcome. Hence the recent distinction between "good fats" and "bad fats."

Simply put, CLA helps people lose weight because it's a good fat. Consuming it accelerates of the body's metabolic rate while slowing the body's conversion of dietary fats into body fat. In a way, when the body is getting enough fat through the diet, it doesn't feel the need to hoard fats by enlarging adipose tissue. This benefit can be further accelerated by avoiding all low-quality fats in the diet: hydrogenated oils (found in nearly all cookies, crackers and baked goods), soybean oil (the most common, cheapest vegetable oil on the market), and other low-cost vegetable oils. Instead, the consumption of healthy oils should be increased: extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, peanut oil, macadamia nut oil, and even extra virgin coconut oil. By consuming these oils while avoiding all refined carbohydrates, the body will naturally achieve a healthy triglyceride level in the bloodstream.

In this CLA study, it's important to note that study subjects consumed over three grams of CLA each day. That's a fairly high dose. Most people taking CLA supplements don't even come close to that dose, since many softgels hold no more than 500mg of oil. You'd have to take six or seven each day to match the dose used in the study. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a level of supplementation that most consumers would never reach. For some reason, consumers tend to take nutritional supplements, herbs, vitamins and minerals like they were drugs: one pill a day. That's typically far less than what's needed, depending on the supplement. For example, I personally take as much as ten grams of chlorella each day -- that's twenty 500mg capsules (an entire handful). Chlorella isn't a drug, it's a superfood. People should be eating it like food. CLA falls into the same category: it's a food, not a drug. It would be more effective and more convenient to buy CLA in its liquid form and take it by the tablespoon rather than individual gelcaps.

In any case, CLA is certainly effective in helping people lose weight, but once again its effects pale in comparison to daily exercise, strength training, and the avoidance of all processed foods and metabolic disruptors. If you decide to take CLA, don't make the common mistake of thinking it replaces daily exercise. Instead, use CLA in conjunction with exercise to achieve your health and fitness goals.


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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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