Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a fatty acid and has been shown to have weight loss properties (1); It is found in dairy products and is believed that it plays a role in lipid (fat), metabolism.

The specific effects that have been suggest include; reduction of body fat, improved insulin resistance, anticarcinogenic effects, modulation of the immune system and reduced blood glucose. (2,3,4). However just as many studies have found no results.

The typical dosage of CLA in studies ranges from 3mg-6mg/day, which is believed to be in the safe. Chen et al. (5), believed that any dosage above 3.4mg/day had no other additional benefits.  

Despite the suggested benefits of CLA the studies that have been conducted on humans are incongruous. This is due to different types of CLA and different dosages given also most studies have not observed CLA usage on its own.




+ Suggested reduction in body fat      – Studies show there is no agreement

+ Suggested lowering cholesterol      – Different dosages used in studies

                                                                – More research needed to elucidate the effects


1 – Blankson, H., Stakkestad, J. A., Fagertun, H., Thom, E., Wadstein, J., & Gudmundsen, O. (2000). Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. The Journal of nutrition, 130(12), 2943-2948.

2 – Kloss R, Linscheid J, Johnson A, Lawson B, Edwards K, Linder T, et al. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on blood lipids and adiposity of rats fed diets rich saturated versus unsaturated fat. Pharmacol Res. 2005;51(6):503–7.

3 – Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr. 2000;130:2943–8.

4 – Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fafertun H, Vik H, et al. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr. 2005;135:778–84.

5 – Chen SC, Lin YH, Huang HP, Hsu WL, Houng JY, Huang CK. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on weight loss and body fat composition in a Chinese population. Nutrition. 2012;28:559–65.