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Health News Archive 388 - Weight Loss
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CLA Causes Fat and Weight Loss During Holiday Season

A new study published online in the prestigious International Journal of Obesity suggests that Tonalin® CLA could have long-term health benefits by preventing weight and fat gain commonly experienced by adults during the November-December holiday season, and in the normal aging process.

Cognis' Tonalin® CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is derived from natural safflower oil, is stimulant-free, and is the most clinically tested CLA on the market.

“These findings suggest that CLA may serve a critical role in reducing a common weight and fat gain that occurs with age,” said Prof. Dale Schoeller, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an author of the study. “About 65 percent of the U.S. population is obese or overweight—that’s a dangerous trend on many levels. We need more research like this to help overweight individuals when they are susceptible to weight gain.”

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recognized that “small, often cumulative weight gains during the holiday season contribute to ‘weight creep’ during adulthood.” They designed a study to determine if CLA supplementation would help overweight adults significantly reduce body fat over a six-month period and prevent weight gain during the holiday season.

Their findings showed that participants taking conjugated linoleic acid safely reduced their body fat mass by 2.2 pounds and their body weight by 1.3 pounds. In comparison, those in the placebo group gained 1.5 pounds of body fat mass and 2.4 pounds of body weight during the months that are especially problematic for overweight individuals.

The study confirmed that taking CLA decreases body fat mass, maintains lean body mass, and aids weight management. Unlike many other studies on body composition, participants in this trial were not restricted by a controlled diet. Furthermore, CLA was well-tolerated among participants taking it for six months just as in earlier one- and two-year trials.

Study subjects included 40 healthy, overweight men and women who took 4 grams of conjugated linoleic acid or a placebo per day from August 2004 to March 2005. Participants followed “healthy lifestyle” advice and Dr. Schoeller explained that while adults in this trial were only moderately active, CLA supplementation can be most effective when taken as part of a daily regimen that includes exercise and a reasonable diet.

Results of this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study corroborate and expand upon earlier findings by Dr. Jean-Michael Gaullier. His studies revealed that CLA reduces body fat mass in overweight but otherwise healthy adults by as much as 9 percent. CLA helped participants in his studies keep off the lost fat during the two-year trial.

In this most recent study report, Dr. Schoeller referred to that research and commented on inconsistent results found in other human CLA studies. He said most of the studies with conflicting findings have been 12 weeks or shorter and thus of “insufficient duration or have utilized body composition methods that are a little less accurate than the currently accepted criterion.” The UW study is the first to use the criterion of four-compartment body composition to more accurately reflect fat changes.

Christine Peggau, Tonalin® CLA Senior Marketing Manager at Cognis, said “This science-based study offers a profound new way to begin tackling the obesity trend. If we can help overweight consumers when they need it most—during the food-filled holiday season and as they age—then this research suggests we will begin to see life-long benefits.”

Source: Watras AC, et al. Int. J. Obes. advance online publication, August 15, 2006 (doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803437)

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