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Trimming flab away with CLA

old message Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid. Darrell Miller 04/03/06


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Date: April 03, 2006 04:57 PM
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Subject: Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.

Trimming flab away with CLA

Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.

Substances that enhance human health and well being can be discovered in all sorts of odd places. Take conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example. This unique fatty acid currently under intense study as an aid to help dieters reduce body fat—was first isolated from grilled ground beef in the early 1980’s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. (CLA is also found in hamburger that ma actually help you slim down? Who knew?

What’s more, CLA (now generally derived from plant sources like safflower oil) also shows promise in two important areas. First, evidence suggests it can slow down some of the steps in cancer’s complex progression. In addition, CLA may help tame excess inflammation.

Fat City

When you take in more calories through food than you burn off through exercise, all those extra energy units have to go somewhere and if you’re like a lot of folks, they wind up being deposited into your fat cells. Not only are jam-packed fat cells responsible for the dreaded disappearing waistline effect, but they also promote unhealthy changes in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other makers of possible hazards to your continued well-being.

CLA helps make life miserable for fat cells in several ways. First, it inhibits an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that shuttles fat molecules from the blood stream into the cells. It encourages lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat that’s already in storage. Finally, in some studies CLA has shown an ability to actually encourage fat cells to commit a form of cellular suicide call apoptosis—which results in fewer places for fat to hide. At the same time, CLA promotes the transport of fat into exercising muscle cells, helping them to both burn off calories and become more toned (and shapely).

CLA Comments: What is it: a special form of linoleic acid, an essential fat: CLA is found naturally in diary foods.

What it does: CLA has shown an ability to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass (When used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan); it has also demonstrated cancer-fighting and immune enhancing effects.

While CLA is the subject of ongoing research, early human trials have produced promising results. In Norway, for example, scientists from five separate institutions teamed up for a study involving people who were healthy but over weight. For the first year some of the individuals took CLA while the others took placebo (look-alike) softgels that contained olive oil instead; in the second year, everyone took CLA. At the end of two years, all the people in this study showed significant reductions in body fat, body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of obesity, and weight(Journal of nutrition 4/05).

Extra Helpings

While battling the bulge is a major goal for many people, fending off cancer may just be America’s number one health concern. And here, too, CLA has come up big in a number of studies, such as a Swedish investigation that shows a link between high CLA intake and reduced colorectal cancer risk (American Journal of Clinical nutrition 10/05). In various lab studies CLA has been shown to interfere with tumor development and keep cancerous cells from spreading to nearby organs.

What’s more, CLA appears to regulate immunity by helping to strengthen the body’s natural defenses while protecting against the inflammatory damage the immune response can cause. That’s important because low-level inflammation has been linked to an ever-growing list of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

If you want to fight off both fat and cancer without eating a mountain of cheeseburgers, don’t have a cow. Turn to CLA instead.

--Lisa James.






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