Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Supplement Can Help Manage Both Weight and Diabetes

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Aug. 20, 2000 (Washington) -- It may not make you lose much weight, but it will help you keep pounds off, while also perhaps delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes and controlling the disease.

Those are the results of the first U.S.-based studies in people of the effects of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. CLA is a popular dietary supplement commonly used to help people lose fat, maintain weight loss, retain lean muscle mass, and control type 2 diabetes -- the type of diabetes that is often associated with obesity.

CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in many meat and dairy products. In studies in animals, it has also been shown to fight arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the artery walls, and several types of cancer. It also appears to enhance the immune system. The results of the first U.S. human studies were presented Sunday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Michael Pariza, PhD, is director of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where the fatty acid was discovered and where it has now been shown to aid in weight management. "It is keeping little fat cells from getting big," explains Pariza, one of the study's lead investigators and a member of the team that documented CLA's existence in 1978.

Since that discovery, two decades' worth of study has yielded much information about the effects of CLA, he tells WebMD. The latest study simply confirms that CLA is a safe and effective option for weight management, when combined with dieting and exercise, he says.

For the study, 80 obese people were told to diet and exercise, and their weight and body composition were monitored over a six-month periods. Most lost 3-5 lb but regained most or all of that weight. However, those study participants who took CLA retained an even ratio of muscle and fat over the six months -- while those who did not take the supplement put pounds back on at the more typical ratio of 75% fat to 25% lean mass, he says.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner