Best CLA Supplements

best cla supplements

Conjugated linoleic acids (better known as CLAs) are essential fats that provide all kinds of benefit to the human body - which makes it a bit of a disappointment that our internal organs do not generate them organically.

Many people do not wish to take supplements, but in this instance, there is no way you can achieve the benefits of CLA without external help.

Best CLA Supplements Comparison Table

Vitamorph Labs CLA 3000
vitamorph labs cla 3000

3000mg per 2 capsules

NatureWise CLA 1250
naturewise cla 1250

1000mg CLA per 1 capsule

Sports Research
sports research ghih potency cla 1250

1187mg CLA per 1 capsule

Bulk Supplements
bulk supplements conjugated lineolic acid

1000mg

MusclePharm Core
musclepharm cla core

1000mg

​What Is CLA

CLAs are constructed from linoleic acids, which are packed with Omega 6 - an essential component of any healthy body and brain.

The conjugated element of the moniker stems from the way that these acids are bound and bonded together, ensuring that all those lovely perks reach us with a minimum of potentially unpleasant side effects.

Furthermore, Omega 6 fatty acid (known as a PUFA – poly unsaturated fatty acid) works hand in hand with Omega 3, to provide an excellent balance in a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, the standard and typical diet in the US is not balanced, containing more OM6 than OM3.

Dwellers in the Mediterranean region have the balance spot on, so much can be said for their diet of rainbow vegetables, fresh fruit and oily fish, not forgetting lean meat such as grilled chicken or turkey.

Thankfully, it's easy to obtain an intake of CLAs via diet and external supplements, which are readily available in just about any reputable health food store or online.

This guide will talk you through just why you should be adding these supplements to your shopping basket, and just what you should be looking out for while you are doing so.

What are the Benefits of CLA?

Where do we begin? The health benefits of CLAs outstrip those of almost any other form of vitamin or protein on the market.

​Anti-Carcinogen

Let's begin with the fact that CLAs are an extremely powerful anticarcinogen1, as initially discovered by testing on mice2.

Research has suggested that just a small dose of these essential acids could reduce your risk of contracting cancer by up to 50%, particularly in the breast, lungs, rectum, skin or stomach. Even if CLAs offered nothing else, this is surely reason enough to invest in a little treasure trove of these supplements.

Thankfully, the long list of positive qualities of CLAs is only just beginning.

​Anti-Flammatory

While not their primary function or benefit, CLAs are also an effective anti-inflammatory3.

Asthmatics will notice the perks provided by CLAs most on this front as they will find a vast improvement in their airways once these wonder-acids are consumed4, but plenty more work will be ongoing under the skin.

Like all anti-inflammatories, CLAs work tirelessly to improve cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.

Anybody living with a musculoskeletal concern such as Rheumatoid Arthritis will also find some comfort from an anti-inflammatory supplement such as CLA.

​Effective For Weight Loss

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly for the average reader, CLAs are a natural and effective method of losing and managing weight5.

If you're carrying a few extra pounds around your middle, CLA supplements accompanied by regular exercise will see the weight fall off at a rate of knots – without sacrificing muscle tone6.

This makes CLA very popular with bodybuilding enthusiasts.

Who Should Take CLA Supplements?

softgel capsules

If you're overweight, asthmatic, living with high cholesterol or blood pressure or suffering from a musculoskeletal condition such as Arthritis, there is absolutely no reason why you should not be adding CLA supplements to your daily routine.

If none of the above applies to you, however, there is still a good chance that you'll benefit from these fantastic fats, subject to you having a relatively clean bill of health before consumption.

​BodyBuilders & Fitness Enthusiasts

Bodybuilders and healthy gym fiends, for example, will find these supplements hugely helpful for retaining the fat-to-muscle ratio they so crave (remember that, as potent as they are, CLA supplements are not a miracle drug - their intake will have to be coupled with regular exercise of at least 30 minutes per day to aid in weight loss).

Older People

Older people, meanwhile, may find that CLA supplements improve their brain function; tests remain ongoing and nothing conclusive has yet been decisively proved, but it has been suggested that CLAs could soon be used in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological issues7.

​Dosage

A daily dosage of CLA should typically not exceed 3 grams, and the supplements should be consumed in accompaniment with meals – you’ll find that most supplements are sold as 1g capsules to be taken three times per day.

However, seek the advice of a medical professional before committing to a dosage if you do suffer from any of the ailments listed at the top of this paragraph, or indeed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

​Continuing Scientific Testing

CLA’s are one of the supplements that, whilst not a mystery, are undergoing continuing scientific testing to prove the many benefits that they seem to manifest.

More Benefits for Women than Men

On research and comprehensive reading of studies, it would appear on the outset that CLA’s have probably more benefits for women as opposed to those for men, mainly due to the high content of Omega 6 fatty acids.

Such studies and potential benefits are, but not limited to the following:

  • Skin conditions such as excema or psoriasis
  • Mastalgia (breast tenderness)
  • Diabetes
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Osteoporosis (more common in women than men, due to estrogen deficiencies)

Are Supplements the Only Answer?

As is so often the case, supplements are not the only answer but far the most effective.

Traces of CLA are primarily found in beef and dairy, but only if the cow in question has been grass-fed – if you do not buy organic, you will not be receiving any of these health benefits.

If you are looking to get your CLA fix through food and drink, stick with beef, eggs and milk.

Be warned, however, that these foodstuffs will provide roughly a hundredth of the quantity of CLA as a supplement, and excessive consumption of such meal components can lead to a variety of health complaints.

Side Effects of CLA

Any supplement comes with a small risk of mild side effects, and in the case of CLA, very occasionally it has been reported to cause stomach upsets, headaches, nausea, diarrhea or fatigue, but the reward of the benefits provided far outweigh the slim possibility of you experiencing these potential risks.

However, people with certain conditions should never start a supplement intake of CLA without consulting their medical practitioner first (as with all supplements).

At potential risk would be those suffering from complaints such as epilepsy or seizures. Caution should also be practised if you have been a sufferer of a heart attack or are currently taking blood-thinning drugs for other ailments (typically warfarin).

For men in particular, it is best to check out your prostate function or any potential problems with this particular organ. You should also consult your medical practitioner if you have already undergone cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy.

Equally so, don’t assume that if you are a fitness freak or bodybuilder, that you may be exempt from problems.

Best to have a clean bill of health, as not every supplement will be perfectly fine for you to take, particularly if you are consuming any other performance enhancing chemical supplements. 

You must also pay attention if you are taking any ‘weight loss’ supplements.

Buyers Guide to CLA Supplements

The only real thing to look out for when purchasing a CLA supplement is just how ‘pure’ the ingredients are. You will be looking to partake in 3,000mg of pure CLAs per day, so don’t waste your hard-earned money on diluted products that promise CLA ‘formula’ or ‘blend’.

To aid you in your shopping expedition, here are five of the most reputable supplements that you’ll be able to pick up online today.

1. Vitamorph Labs CLA 3000

vitamorph labs cla 3000

Vitamorph Labs offers the highests potency CLA  at 3000mg per serving (2 softgel capsules). Its CLA somes from safflower seed oil.

Ingredients:

  • 3000mg of CLA from safflower seed oil(80$ active)​

Pros:

  • 3000mg of CLA per serving
  • Made in the USA
  • ​Gluten free
  • Pure

Cons:

  • Softgels are larger due to potency​
  • Contains gelatin - not suitable for vegetarians

Bottom line: This is the most potent on the market so perfect for those wanting a larger dose without paying more than necessary.

2. NatureWise CLA 1250

naturewise cla 1250

NatureWise CLA 1250 contains 1000mg of active CLA derived from non-GMO safflower seed oil. It uses 100% pure 3rd party certified ingredients and GMP compliant.

It is made by NatureWise which is a large natural supplement company with many years in the industry. It provides quaranteed top quality products.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25g safflower oil (standardized to 80% CLA)
  • Total 1000mg active CLA per serving

​Pros:

  • 1000mg ​
  • Softgel capsules
  • Made in USA
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten, dairy, soy and nut free

Cons:​

  • Gelatin capsules so not suitable for vegetarians/vegans.
  • Large capsules which may be difficult to swallow for some
  • Can melt easily
  • Expensive compared to other brands.

Bottom line: Overall, if you’re looking for a top CLA supplement then you can't go wrong with this. NatureWise is a well respected company and this is a great starting point for taking CLA.

3. Sports Research

sports research ghih potency cla 1250

Sports Research offer their CLA capsule in softgel form too and provide 95% active CLA. This is up from the standard 80% you find overall in the market.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25g safflower oil (standardized to 85% CLA)
  • Total 1187mg active CLA per serving

​Pros:

  • 1187mg ​
  • 95% active CLA
  • Softgel capsules
  • Made in USA in a GMP facility
  • Third party tested
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten, dairy, soy and nut free
  • Additive and Preservative free

Cons:​

  • Gelatin capsules so not suitable for vegetarians/vegans.
  • May cause bloating

Bottom line: Sports Research is another great Brand to try out if other Brands are not working for you.

4. Bulk Supplements

bulk supplements cla

Bulk Supplements are one of our favorite brands. They offer high quality products at great prices. In fact they tend to beat other Brands osnsistently on price alone without compromising quality.

Their CLA supplement comes in softgels that have 1000mg of CLA.

Ingredients:

  • Total 1000mg active CLA per serving
  • Derived from safflower seed

​Pros:

  • 1000mg ​
  • Softgel capsules
  • Cheaper than other Brands
  • 300 capsules per container
  • Made in USA in a GMP facility
  • Third party tested
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten, dairy, soy and nut free
  • Additive and Preservative free

Cons:​

  • Gelatin capsules so not suitable for vegetarians/vegans.
  • Some customers felt drowsy after taking.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a great Brand and capsule to try.  Bulk Supplements have a great reputation and their product has received an overall positive response from the market.

5. Muscle Pharm CLA Core

musclepharm cla core

MusclePharm are a large company usually known for the workout and fitness supplements. Their CLA is like others. It is in softgel form and contains 1 gram of CLA per serving.

It is made in a GMP certified facility and is free from a number of allergens

Ingredients:

  • 1000mg active CLA per serving
  • Derived from a blend of CLA, Virgin Olive OIl & Avocado OIl

​Pros:

  • 1000mg ​
  • Softgel capsules
  • Made in USA in a GMP facility

Cons:​

  • May not be suitable for those with food allergens
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Melt easily

Bottom line: Overall, this is a a great Brand and a good choice if you are not someone who suffers from food allergens or has a vegetarian diet.

CLA supplements are a comparatively new discovery in the world of health, fitness and nutrition, but they are rapidly becoming some of the most popular additions to kitchen and bathroom cabinets the world over.

Whether you are looking to take these capsules as inspiration to exercise and drop a few pounds or as treatment for an existing condition, you’re sure to be glad that you did so, but caution on any external supplement needs to be adhered to.

References

1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017

2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3119246

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12468364

4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20642580

5. http://cla-premium.com/clinical-study.pdf

6. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/6/1118.abstract

7. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388198112002570

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com​

Kelly
 

Kelly C is the Editor of Hard Boiled Body. She is passionate about health, well being, running and minimalist. As a competitive runner, she has insight into the struggles of balancing work-outs with good nutrition and injury prevention. She has also had her fair share of weight problems, particularly revolving around cravings and binge eating, which she is able to give her insight and experiences on overcoming.

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