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Study: CLA Doesn't Keep Pounds Off

Supplement CLA May Not Help Dieters Lose Weight and Keep It Off

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 10, 2006 -- The supplement CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) may not live up to its claims in helping dieters lose weight or burn fat, according to new study.

Researchers found that obese people who took the supplement for one year did not lose any more weight than those who took a placebo.

In addition, the study showed taking CLA did not prevent weight or fat regain after weight loss.

The results appear in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

CLA May Not Speed Weight Loss

Researchers say CLA is often sold as a dietary supplement to promote weight and fat loss. However, previous studies have not clearly determined its ability for weight loss or decrease in body fat.

In this study, researchers examined the effects of one year of supplementation with CLA on body weight and body fat regain in a group of 101 obese men and women who lost more than 8% of their body weight through a calorie-restriction diet. Half of the participants took 3.4 grams per day of CLA and the other half took a placebo.

The results showed that there were no significant differences in body weight or body fat regain between the two groups. Both groups gained an average of about 9 pounds in body weight and more than 4 pounds in body fat during the study.

No significant side effects were associated with CLA supplementation, but those who took the supplement had an increased number of white blood cells. Elevated white blood cells may mean increased inflammation, but the researchers write that "the clinical relevance of this finding is still unclear."

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