Even though Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) was discovered by accident, it has proven to be incredibly beneficial and even essential for our general health. Over the past few decades it has been associated with many health benefits such as heart health, cancer prevention and fat burning and weight loss. Though studies are consistently being carried out to look into the benefits of CLA, existing research is promising and has proved that this trans fatty acid should be consumed daily in some form.
Reducing the risk of cancer
In recent studies, CLA's antioxidant properties have shown promise in fighting different forms of cancer including breast, lung and prostate cancers. It is suggested that it blocks 3 stages of cancer development including initiation, promotion and progression, which are essential for reducing the risk of cancer cells evolving.
Increasing your intake of CLA could reduce your risk of contracting colds and the flu. It is able to improve immune function by reducing leukotrienes and prostaglandins, which are responsible for suppressing the immune system. It could also benefit the immunity of those who suffer from allergies by triggering a protective mechanism that blocks the release of IgE antibodies, which is a type of immunoglobulin associated with allergies.
Body fat management:
CLA supplements have become increasingly popular because of CLA's abilities to reduce overall body fat mass. While reducing fat, it increases lean muscle in order to improve the fat to muscle ratio, which is down to increased insulin sensitivity. An increase of insulin sensitivity allows fatty acids and glucose to easily move toward muscle cells and away from fat cells. This will result in an increase of total energy in muscle and fat tissue, which will enhance metabolism in order to reduce body fat and increase muscle.
Heart disease prevention:
CLA can assist heart health in 2 different ways: decreasing bad cholesterol and preventing atherosclerosis. Bad cholesterol (LDL) deposits itself in the body's arteries when there is not enough good cholesterol (HDL) to metabolise and dispose of it. This build-up of LDL results in fatty deposits and plaque in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, embolism and strokes.