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From the News Archives...

Synthetic CLA may be hazardous to some people's health

Tens of thousands of people are now taking synthetic conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the hopes of reducing their body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, effects that are well documented in animal studies. But one of the ingredients in commercial supplements may cause health problems for overweight men, one of the groups most likely to purchase the supplements.

In a recent study, overweight men were given tablets containing a type of CLA (trans10, cis12 CLA) found in significant quantities in most commercial supplements. To the researchers' surprise, the supplements lowered the men's "good" HDL cholesterol, raised their blood sugar, and made them more resistant to insulin---changes that are linked with a greater risk of diabetes, obesity and heart problems.

These health problems are not associated with the natural CLA found in meat and dairy products (cis9, trans11 CLA). Once again, we learn that it is not wise to fool Mother Nature.

(Riserus, U et al. Diabetes Care, 2002. "Treatment with dietary trans10cis12 conjugated linoleic acid causes isomer-specific insulin resistance in obese men with the metabolic syndrome") 25: 1516-21.)


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