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What is CLA and Why Is it Such a Big Deal (or not) – Thomas DeLauer
So I know how much you love the unbiased science. So let’s go ahead and talk about CLA, conjugated linoleic acid today. I’m gonna give you a neutral, unbiased breakdown that really allows you to make the decision based upon peer-reviewed studies, scholarly articles, and the honest research by CLA. If you haven’t already, make sure you hit that subscribe button and also make sure you turn on notification so you can see whenever I go live or whenever I post a video and never miss a beat.
So what exactly is CLA? CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid. Technically, CLA is considered a trans fat, but if you’ve watched my other videos, you know that not all trans fats are really created equal. We have biological trans fats, natural trans fats, and we have artificial trans fats. They’re not all bad. They’re not all good either.
When we look at conjugated linoleic acid, it’s technically an Omega-6 fatty acid. Again, if you’ve seen my other videos, you know that Omega-6s are only good in moderation because Omega-6s can actually trigger inflammation. I want you to hear me out throughout the entirety of this video because sometimes, the right amount of inflammation can actually trigger a good thing like positive fatty acid oxidation. You see, so naturally CLA comes from the rumen of pasture-raised animals. Now what that means is animals that generally have multiple stomachs, so we’re talking about cows, we’re talking about things like that. Now the rumen is the intestines or part of the digestive tract, so conjugated linoleic acid is a naturally occurring trans fat that is in that portion of the animal.
So as you can imagine, when an animal is harvested, there is not a whole lot of CLA that comes out of it. You see, you don’t get this copious amount like you would any other kind of fat. It’s really kind of a precious commodity and we don’t need much in the body to trigger the right kind of thing. Like I’ve talked about in other videos, you only need a small amount of Omega-6s to get the job done.
Now technically it’s what’s called a polyunsaturated fat. Now polyunsaturated fats are very, very unstable, but through the biological process of hydrogenation, of them becoming a trans fat, they can become somewhat more healthy and a little bit more stable. That’s sort of the case with CLA.
Now here’s what we have to remember. Naturally occurring CLA is a good thing. The supplements that we take that are CLA are totally different, and there is something that we have to understand when we start to talk about this, and it’s a very in-depth science but what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna give it in a blanket statement and give you sort of the CliffNotes version of it.
When we look at fats, we have specific codes. There is almost what I’d like to call a fat code. We look at the carbon chains in how a fatty acid is made up, and we see multiple carbon chains. Now within those chains, we have what are called CIS, cis bonds, and we have what are called trans bonds. Now the amount of these bonds doesn’t really matter right now. All that matters is the sequence of where these different cis bonds and trans bonds occur. All that you need to know is that our bodies have an ability to interpret and translate and ultimately digest a specific fat code.
If we alter that fat code through a chemical or artificial process, we’re restructuring where these cis bonds and these trans bonds are, therefore making it more difficult for the body to process. So when we’re looking at naturally occurring CLA, we’re usually looking at a very specific trans and cis bond make up.
1) Can CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) Help You Lose Weight? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cla-and-weight-loss#section2
2) Conjugated Linoleic Acid – Selfhacked. (2017, October 20). Retrieved from https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/conjugated-linoleic-acid/#4_CLATreats_Type_2_Diabetes
3) CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): A Detailed Review. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/conjugated-linoleic-acid#section6
4) Den Hartigh LJ , et al. (n.d.). 10E,12Z-conjugated linoleic acid impairs adipocyte triglyceride storage by enhancing fatty acid oxidation, lipolysis, and mitochondrial reactive ox… – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23956445
5) Whigham LD , et al. (n.d.). Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490954
6) Supplementation With Conjugated Linoleic Acid Causes Isomer-Dependent Oxidative Stress and Elevated C-Reactive Protein. (2002, October 8). Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/15/1925.short