a close up shot of a field of safflowers

The supplement market is so diverse and so broad that choosing the right option can be nearly impossible. In addition, new trends appear all the time and they can be difficult to assess for effectiveness.

Safflower oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) products have generated a lot of buzz lately. Advertising materials suggest they’re the new weight loss miracle and many people have become curious about giving CLA a try. Does it work, however, or is it a hoax?

How Does CLA Safflower Oil Work

To answer the question posed above, it’s important to take a look at the manner in which CLA safflower oil supplements work.

CLA is an essential fatty acid derived from the safflower seed. It is found in safflower oil but supplements feature a larger concentration, which is why they can be more effective than using the oil itself in food preparation.

The fatty acid has proven to be promising when it comes to changing the composition of the body. Research suggests that CLA speeds up the metabolism and it also increases the effectiveness of natural fat burning mechanism.

Taking CLA can also be beneficial when it comes to overcoming some of the other effects of obesity and being overweight. The conjugated linoleic acid helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. As a result, CLA may be a good option for reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes – two viable dangers overweight individuals have to cope with.

Is There Evidence that CLA Works?

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The theory sounds great but determining whether CLA safflower oil is a hoax will also depend on a review of clinical trials and academic research.

Scientists have been capable of proving so far that the CLA weight loss mechanism does work.

The interest in safflower oil began in the 1980s. Initially, it was identified as a cancer-prevention agent by a University of Wisconsin researcher. This discovery spiked the interest in conjugated linoleic acid and an array of other academic experiments took place. Eventually, research began focusing on this ingredient’s potential to promote healthy weight loss without a serious change in diet.

An interesting clinical trial was presented in the Journal of Nutrition in 2000. The experiment involved overweight and obese volunteers. To control for other factors, researchers asked the volunteers to keep their diet and activity levels unchanged. The only modification was daily CLA supplementation.

In the end of the trial period, the volunteer given CLA had lost body fat and they’d managed to gain muscle mass.

Several additional clinical trials have gotten to similar results through the years.

Researchers also tested out the effectiveness of CLA in individuals having a healthy weight. The outcome of the clinical trial was presented in The Journal of Internal Medicine Research. People having a healthy weight and exercising on a regular basis managed to lose more fat when taking CLA.

Even when people stop exercising and take CLA, they gain weight back at a much slower pace than those who quit their fitness routine and do not take any supplement.

Obviously, the results will vary from person to person and the cause of excess weight will have to be identified for conjugated linoleic acid supplementation to deliver the best possible results. A large body of research, however, suggests that CLA supplements are not a hoax and they can support a natural weight loss program.

The Quality of the CLA Safflower Oil Supplement Does Matter

Now that the effectiveness of conjugated linoleic acid has been established, it’s time to take a look at the supplements on the market. Just because CLA itself promotes weight loss does not mean that all conjugated linoleic acid supplements will deliver the desired results.

CLA supplements vary on the basis of active ingredient and concentration. In order to deliver good results, they should feature an optimal dose of conjugated linoleic acid derived from safflower oil.

Researchers have found out that a dosage of 3.4 grams is safe for everyday use and it’s optimal when it comes to increasing the fat burning effect. If you’re already on your way to losing weight and you want a gradual effect, you may want to consider a supplement that features 1250 milligrams (1.24 grams) of conjugated linoleic acid on a daily basis.

Supplements that feature lower concentrations or that don’t contain 100 percent safflower oil will be much less effective when it comes to giving you sensible weight loss results within a short period of time.

CLA Supplements Are Not Magical Pills

There is one final thing that needs to be addressed in connection to CLA’s effectiveness.

Some people believe they can eat junk food, be couch potatoes, take CLA and still lose weight. Unfortunately, things don’t work this way.

Even if CLA speeds up the burning of fat, you aren’t going to see real results without making some changes to your diet and exercise. Eating a lot of fatty foods will eventually lead to the storage of lipids in the body. There’s so much that a metabolic enhancer can do, the rest depends on you.

Some studies show that CLA helps for appetite reduction. Thus, the supplement could be a good choice for improving your nutritional habits without being hungry and succumbing to cravings.

For optimal results, you should reduce your calorie intake and start exercising. Even a short routine of 30 minutes two times per week can help you see good results, especially if you are taking a conjugated linoleic acid supplement.

Final Thoughts

Weight loss through CLA is possible if you choose the right product and introduce a few simple lifestyle changes. One thing is certain – conjugated linoleic acid supplements are not a hoax and many people have already experienced their benefits.

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