Although all the intricacies of CLA are not fully understood, it is widely accepted in the research community that CLA counterbalances the negative effects of linoleic acid and regulates fat and protein metabolism in animals. Pariza, director of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, said, "a growing body of data indicates that CLA is a newly recognized nutrient that functions to regulate energy retention and metabolism." CLA can best be described as a "growth factor".
CLA has been shown in animal studies to increase growth rate through increased feed efficiency. In controlled studies, animals that had their diets supplemented with CLA increased their body protein (muscle tissue) and at the same time showed a significant decrease in body fat. These results occurred in the CLA supplemented animals while their food intake was decreased. Their lean mass increased even though they were eating less, indicating that CLA increases feed efficiency and also points to a potent nutrient repartitioning effect. This significant change in body composition can also be attributed in part to CLA's effect on immune function.
Actual human studies are planned with anticipation of similar outcomes. CLA may be the most significant bodybuilding nutrient discovered in this decade. CLA is a naturally occurring nutrient with the ability to help pack on lean muscle, reduce body fat, and at the same time provide health promoting properties.
CLA occurs naturally in foods such as milk, cheese, beef, and lamb, as well as many processed foods. To get enough CLA from your diet for the preferred benefit would require considerable intake of these foods. Such a diet is not only impractical but it would have a seriously negative impact on your metabolism due to the high caloric content.
Since this research was published, advanced lipid technology has produced a more economical and efficient way to obtain the required CLA. A synthesizing process allows for precision intake of CLA through premeasured softgel capsules, allowing for precise CLA intake at determined time intervals without the high calorie food consumption. Not only has CLA been shown to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat, studies have also shown remarkable anti-catabolic, antioxidant, and immune enhancement benefits. All of these benefits are derived from a structured lipid, a "designer fat" if you will. For the athlete looking to add more muscle and drop body fat, CLA is a unique discovery that will accomplish this feat easier and faster. CLA has positive effects on immune function and antioxidant status and also as lowers cholesterol levels.