Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation has been studied as a potential intervention for weight loss, but methodological shortcomings have made the studies on the topic difficult to interpret. Additionally, there is some evidence that CLA may negatively affect liver health, especially in people with fatty liver. This study aimed to investigate the weight-loss effects of CLA as well as its safety profile in women with overweight and obesity.

The study

Researchers randomized 74 female participants with overweight and obesity to supplement 3 grams of CLA daily or placebo for 12 weeks. Researchers collected DXA scans, blood labs, and breath tests to assess body composition and liver health at baseline and 12 weeks into the study.

The results

Participants supplementing CLA experienced significant reductions in total body fat, android (trunk and upper body) fat tissue, gynoid (hip, breast, and thigh) fat tissue, and visceral (intra-abdominal) fat tissue. Liver function actually improved, which contradicts the results from previous research in rats.

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This Study Summary was published on August 6, 2020.