CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid and is a popular supplement with body builders and other athletes. It is a type of fat that has a lot of benefits in the body.
Along with being available in supplement form, CLA is also found in a number of foods such as dairy, meat, and mushrooms.
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CLA is a popular supplement, and for good reason. This article will answer frequently asked questions about CLA and provide more information about this fat.
What are the health benefits of CLA?
CLA has a number of health benefits in the body. It has been shown to help fight certain types of cancer by reducing the size and number of tumors. The types of cancer that CLA can help prevent are stomach, breast, skin, colorectal, and lung.
CLA has been shown to help lower blood pressure and bring down levels of triglycerides and high cholesterol. It also can help fight cardiovascular disease and reduce inflammation in the body. CLA can prevent osteoporosis and support a healthy immune system.
If you would like to lose weight, CLA has been shown to help with this. It lowers body fat while keeping lean muscle. The results are even better for those who combine CLA with exercise.
According to Dr. Mercola, research on mice has shown that CLA may be beneficial for those with diabetes. It may improve the action of insulin as well as reduce the amount of glucose in the body.
What types of food contain CLA?
Because CLA is not made by the human body, you need to get it from food sources. Fortunately there are a number of different foods that contain CLA.
- Dairy products, such as milk, butter, and cheese, can be a good source. However, there are higher levels of CLA in whole fat dairy products than the low fat products.
- When looking for dairy products, look for those that are produced from grass fed cows rather than from cows that have been fed grain. There is a chemical in the grass that helps increase CLA production.
- Mushrooms are a good source of CLA. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, you may want to increase your intake of mushrooms.
- Mushrooms have been shown to contain certain chemicals that restrain estrogen producing enzymes.
- Meat is a good food source of CLA. Just like with dairy products, the levels of CLA are higher in animals that are grass fed. Some good meat sources of CLA include cows, goats, deer, buffalo, turkey, and lamb.
- Certain oils are also good sources of CLA. The best source of CLA is found in safflower oil.
- Soy oil is the next best oil for CLA, with corn oil following. Sunflower and flax seed oils are not good sources of CLA.
If you do not eat a lot of the foods that are high in CLA, like a vegetarian or vegan, you can get CLA from nutritional supplements. Keep in mind, however, that CLA from food sources is better for you than CLA from supplements.
Are there any side effects to CLA?
If you get most of your CLA from food sources, there are very few side effects associated with it because it is from natural sources. Supplements are a bit different however, and some of them may cause unwanted side effects.
Some possible side effects from CLA supplements are heartburn, indigestion, fatigue, loose stools, and nausea. CLA supplements may also cause high blood sugar or low levels of HDL cholesterol.
CLA supplements may also increase the C reactive protein, which indicates high levels of inflammation in your body. If you experience any sort of allergic reaction, such as hives, itching, a rash, difficulty swallowing or breathing, wheezing, or swelling, you should stop taking the CLA supplement.
Studies are lacking as to whether CLA supplements negatively interact with any medications or drugs. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, CLA from food sources is safe but it is unknown if supplements are ok.
You should always talk with your healthcare provider if you notice any side effects or have any questions about taking CLA supplements, especially if you have other health issues or are taking any type of medication.
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