|CLA Deficiencies: There has been a dramatic decline in available CLA in Western diets mainly due to the loss of CLA content in meat and dairy products. Ruminants (beef, lamb and veal) used to contain substantial amounts of CLA in their muscle tissue, but switching these animals from pasture land (grass diets) to feedlots where they are primarily fed grain has resulted in approximately a 75% decline of CLA in these animals.
It is thought that the recent rises in obesity may be partially linked to the declining levels of CLA in the Western diet.
CLA & Diet/Weight Loss: CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid ) appears to act as a partitioning agent, a nutrient that reduces body fat and promotes lean muscle mass.
Studies into the effects of CLA have been carried out in Norway and the US. Results show that CLA supplementation has significant benefits for weight -reduction. CLA not only helps with weight loss by reducing body fat but prevents fat accumulation much longer, after a diet has ended.
What does CLA do to reduce body fat?
CLA helps mobilise fat out of the fat cells and decrease fat uptake into those cells, while enhancing the body’s ability to burn fat for energy in the muscle tissue.
- CLA inhibits the activity of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL). This enzyme transfers fats from the bloodstream to the fat cells. As a result of the decreased enzyme activity the transport of fat into fat cells is blocked.
- At the same time CLA also stimulates the breakdown of stored body fat (lipolysis).
- And additional studies have shown that CLA increases the disintegration of cells (apoptosis), resulting in a decreased number of existing fat cells.
What does CLA do to increase Muscle Mass? Physical activity stimulates the fat transport from the bloodstream or the fat cell, to be burned in the muscle cell.
- CLA increases the activity of the enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT). CPT is present in the skeletal muscles and is responsible for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria.
- Energy production in the body takes place in the mitochondria. Fat can be used as fuel for energy production. With an increased activity of CPT in the skeletal muscle, CLA increases the transport of fat into the mitochondria.
- All these steps elevate the beta-oxidation, thus helping the body to burn more fat.