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Cut fat, maintain muscle mass

Study results published in The Journal of Nutrition conclude that the dietary supplement conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), has been shown to reduce body fat in overweight humans. The results are from the largest study, which was double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, and which confirms previous findings from human studies showing that CLA improved body composition by reducing body fat and promoting lean muscle growth. This study was conducted at Scandinavian Clinical Research, Kjeller, Norway. Sixty overweight people were randomly administered either a placebo or CLA for 12 weeks to determine the effects of different doses of CLA, from 1.7 grams to 6.8 grams, compared with a placebo. Study participants were given the option to undertake light exercise and moderate their food intake.

Results showed that 3.4 grams of CLA daily provided CLA's beneficial effects on lowering body fat percentage. Participants who received 6.8 grams daily, the highest dose, compounded the results with a slight increase in lean muscle mass. According to study co-author Jan Wadstein, MD, Ph.D., Lund University in Sweden, "CLA may be a valuable weight management supplement to any diet regime. Keeping lean body mass and speeding up fat loss are the keys to a successful weight loss program. We are encouraged by our findings and are involved in further research on CLA's ability to expedite fat loss and preserve muscle mass."

Journal of Nutrition. 2000;130:2943-2948.

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