Promising studies have shown conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can help reduce body fat.Two studies provide convincing evidence that CLA helps with fat loss. Both studies tested the effects of a mixture of equal amounts of c9,t11 CLA and t10,c12 CLA. In the first study, post-menopausal women were randomly assigned to a CLA (4.2 grams/day) or placebo group for 16 weeks with no instruction to change diet or activity patterns. After 4 months, the CLA group had 4% lower total fat mass and 7% lower fat in the lower body compared to placebo. The CLA group also showed lower expression of proteins involved in fat storage in their fat cells.
In the second study, women were randomly assigned to both a CLA (6.4 grams/day) and a placebo group for 4 months each. Again, there was no instruction to change diet or activity patterns. The CLA group showed greater weight loss and fat loss compared to the placebo group. Total fat loss was about 0.2 pounds during the placebo period and almost 3 pounds on average during the CLA supplementation period.
These two studies provide evidence that CLA supplementation at doses between 4.2 and 6.4 grams per day is effective at decreasing fat mass.