What is CLA?
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a type fatty acid found in small amounts in foods such as milk, cheese and red meat. Although CLA is structurally classified as an omega-6 fatty acid, it's not an essential omega-6 fatty acid. Some research has shown fat-loss and lean-body mass enhancement effects from CLA and this has formed the basis for CLA's use as a dietary supplement.1
What is Tonalin CLA?
Tonalin is a trademarked brand of CLA; there are many other CLA supplements on the market and most CLA products have similar formulations. Most CLA is sold in softgels containing about 1000 mg of a safflower or sunflower oil-and-CLA mixture that will provide between 600-800 mg of CLA per softgel.
CLA's Health Benefits
CLA is used primarily by those who want to decrease bodyfat and increase or preserve lean-bodymass. CLA's mechanism of action is incompletely understood. One possibility is that CLA increases sensitivity to insulin, making overall metabolism much more efficient, so there are fewer excess, unused calories to be stored as fat. Another is that CLA may affect the liver enzymes that alters the balance of fat-storage and fat-burning enzymes in a way that favors fat-burning. As a very safe supplement without any central nervous system effects, CLA is particularly useful for those trying to shed body fat but without resorting to stimulant-based fat burners. CLA doesn't produce rapid or dramatic reductions in body weight. But used in conjunction with proper diet and exercise, it can help reduce body fat while preserving valuable lean body mass.
When is CLA taken?
To get the best results from CLA, take it on a consistent daily basis for 8-12 weeks or longer. Best dose for fat loss is at least 3.4 grams per day, which is equivalent to 5 typical CLA softgels, which can be taken all at once or in divided doses.