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How Much CLA To Take For Weight Loss Daily? What To Know in 2022

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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

How Much CLA To Take For Weight Loss

When looking for healthy ways to ensure you are meeting your weight loss goals, consider taking the supplement CLA. Conjugated Linoleic Acid known or CLA has been used to shed pounds without exercise. CLA is a natural fatty acid that reduces fat mass in specific areas of the body and bolsters metabolic activity.

How Much CLA To Take For Weight Loss 

Some foods contain CLA and can assist with weight loss. However, if you take supplements, it is critical to know how much CLA to take for weight loss. Of course, when adding a supplement to your dietary regimen, it will take time to notice weight loss. Taking a minimum of 3,000 mg or 3 grams of CLA[1] is sufficient enough to lose weight. If you choose to consume foods containing CLA, about 0.7 to 10.1 mg of CLA is in every gram of fat in cow milk.

CLA And How It Facilitates Weight Loss

CLA exists in milk, beef, veal, lamb, pork, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Cooking foods with CLA may increase the amount of CLA consumed. Note, animals given a grass-fed diet have a higher level of CLA, which is found in their meat or milk. Cows, sheep, and goats all provide CLA, with cows being the most abundant fatty acid source.

CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, is naturally occurring in dairy and meat and is a fatty acid. Ongoing studies on CLA prove its ability to support weight loss, preserve lean muscle mass, control blood sugar, and assist persons with type 2 diabetes. People who live with obesity have been studied closely for the benefits of consuming CLA and resultant weight loss. 

There have been 19 placebo-controlled studies[2] on CLA supplementation in humans, in contrast to numerous studies on animals, pointing to the reduction of fatty tissue. However, much higher levels of CLA were administered to animals than humans in trials. 

Ideally, CLA works best for anyone who follows an exercise regimen. Although studies on CLA and animals have shown it works to suppress appetite, it has not proven itself to curb hunger in humans. Take CLA supplements before or while eating for optimal absorption.

Taking CLA will not stimulate the body and cause nervousness or jitters. CLA is a popular supplement for diabetes weight loss because it is a fatty acid that plays a part in the body’s cellular metabolic process. Additionally, CLA accumulates in the muscles, helps reduce belly fat, and decreases the size of fat cells.

The first six months one takes CLA, there is noticeable weight loss. After the six-month mark, weight loss is unremarkable for up to two years. The average amount of weight loss taking CLA is 0.2 pounds weekly. 

CLA Dosage For Weight Loss

The average diet consisting of foods with CLA provides the human body with 15 to 174 mg of CLA daily. Consuming CLA in large quantities is not detrimental to human health or organ function over an extended period. Most people who take CLA supplements for weight loss and other benefits do so for 2 to 12 weeks, consuming 1.6 to 6.8 mg.

If you were wondering how much CLA to take for weight loss, most healthy adults take a dosage of 3 to 6 mg of CLA daily. However, adults over 155 pounds should take a minimum of  3.5 mg of CLA. Experts suggest taking 3.4 mg of CLA[3] daily but 3 to 4 mg of CLA should be sufficient enough to see visible weight loss.

Human trials[4] using older adults, reflected an increase in strength and muscle mass in participants that took CLA daily for six months. Persons who are obese and take a minimum of 3.4 mg over a 12 week period have achieved a significant loss of body fat.

Benefits Of CLA

You can reap the benefits of taking CLA by consuming specific foods or taking a daily supplement. Whether you use CLA to encourage weight loss alongside exercising regularly or alone, burning fat is not all this fatty acid can do. In addition to meeting your weight loss goals, you may also enjoy other beneficial properties of CLA.

  • Targets stubborn belly fat
  • Maintains lean muscle
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves the immune system
  • Improves bone health
  • Supports hair growth and scalp health

Reduce Belly Fat

CLA works hard to get rid of belly fat because it increases the body’s basal metabolic rates, so it more efficiently converts food into energy. Also, CLA likes to accumulate in the body’s muscle tissues to trigger fat cell death and shrink fat cells. Research in the International Journal of Obesity displayed a connection to CLA and a reduction in abdominal fat in overweight men.

Maintain Lean Muscle 

Bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts love using CLA compared to creatine. According to studies in animal populations[5], supplemental CLA led to an increase in total body mass from 36% to 57% and a reduction in fat mass from 27% to 60%. Many supplements may reduce gaining muscle mass and lead to overall body shrinkage. However, CLA may prove beneficial for inhibiting fat cell storage and production, as well as raise energy levels for working out. Taking CLA may be helpful for muscle metabolism[6] too.

Support A Healthy Heart

Eating food that is a significant source of CLA may prove helpful to heart health. Harvard School of Public Health conducted research connecting a reduced risk of coronary heart disease[7] to dietary linoleic acid. The director of UA-Madison’s Food Research, Michael Pariza, found that CLA has anti-carcinogenic properties and reduces heart disease in rabbits[8]. Pariza wants to conduct future clinical trials to understand the benefits of CLA on humans. However, CLA may impact blood clotting.

Boost Immune System

Taking a CLA supplement may provide benefits to the immune system. There are anti-inflammatory qualities within CLA, and this fatty acid regulates the body’s immune system and inflammation response. Additionally, because CLA has a positive effect on the liver and encourages detoxification, it boosts health.

Support Bone Health

Adding CLA supplements can be good for your bones and joints. Since CLA has anti-inflammatory properties, it may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Also, elderly adults have shown positive responses with the use of CLA. Health problems like osteoporosis can make life difficult, and taking CLA with calcium helps improve bone mass and reduces bone resorption[9].

Grow Hair Fast

Use CLA to help encourage longer, stronger, healthier hair. The linoleic acid in sources like safflower oil helps increase circulation to stimulate the scalp and hair growth. Regularly consuming CLA leads to shiny, healthy hair and stronger hair follicles.


Severely overweight or obese persons consuming CLA should be cautious. There have been signs that CLA may trigger insulin resistance in heavier adults who are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Always look for any ill side effects and consult your physician before taking a supplement, especially if using prescription medication.

Persons who have diabetes or an existing condition that impacts their liver or metabolism may want to be careful with CLA. Taking this supplement may cause problems with absorbing sugar, headache, diarrhea, upset stomach, fatigue, or nausea. CLA may also cause a reduction in good and bad cholesterol.

+ 9 sources

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  1. Benjamin, S., Prakasan, P., Sreedharan, S., Wright, A.-D.G. and Spener, F. (2015). Pros and cons of CLA consumption: an insight from clinical evidences. Nutrition & Metabolism, [online] 12(1), p.4. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429457/ [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  2. Larsen, T.M., Toubro, S. and Astrup, A. (2003). Efficacy and safety of dietary supplements containing CLA for the treatment of obesity. Journal of Lipid Research, [online] 44(12), pp.2234–2241. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022227520319404 [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  3. ‌Nih.gov. (2017). Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss. [online] Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-HealthProfessional/ [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  4. Tarnopolsky, M., Zimmer, A., Paikin, J., Safdar, A., Aboud, A., Pearce, E., Roy, B. and Doherty, T. (2007). Creatine Monohydrate and Conjugated Linoleic Acid Improve Strength and Body Composition Following Resistance Exercise in Older Adults. PLoS ONE, [online] 2(10), p.e991. Available at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000991 [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  5. ‌citeseerx.ist.psu.edu. (n.d.). Download Limit Exceeded. [online] Available at: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  6. ‌Amherst, S. and Kim, Y. (2015). Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) on Skeletal Muscle Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) on Skeletal Muscle Metabolism Metabolism. [online] Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1451&context=dissertations_2.
  7. The Nutrition Source. (2014). Dietary linoleic acid and risk of coronary heart disease. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/11/05/dietary-linoleic-acid-and-risk-of-coronary-heart-disease/ [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  8. Wisc.edu. (2021). A Fat That Reduces Cancer, Heart Disease and Body Fat? [online] Available at: https://news.wisc.edu/a-fat-that-reduces-cancer-heart-disease-and-body-fat/ [Accessed 17 Sep. 2021].
  9. Terk, M. (1911). [email protected] Amherst The Effects of Dietary Calcium and Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Bone Health. [online] Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1068&context=theses.‌

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Alex Smith is a NY-based content writer who enjoys covering natural health, supporting wellness, personal finance, history, and outdoor living. When he is not behind a keyboard living the wordsmith life, he enjoys visiting landmark destinations and bookstores.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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