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Sources of Conjugated Linoleic Acid and its Health Benefits for the Human Body
Conjugated linoleic acid is a form of omega-6 fatty acid, primarily found in animal products. Studies show that this type of linoleic acid offers anti-carcinogenic properties, while increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat, upon regular consumption. Dietary linoleic acid can be found in various products, such as dairy, meat, vegetable oil, and fortified eggs. Dairy products such as homogenized cow's milk are a common source, as well as low-fat yogurt, butter, and different types of cheeses. Meat products from ruminant animals or those that have four stomach compartments (which help digest grass and plants) contain higher concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid than meat from non-ruminant animals. Meats with the highest levels of conjugated linoleic acid include lamb, venison, buffalo, elk, and other wild game. Pork, chicken, and non-ruminant meats only contain small amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (less than 1mg per gram of fat). Vegetable oils as well as margarine also contain small amounts of the acid, along with fortified eggs.
Considered a 'good' trans-fatty acid, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) offers a wide range of health benefits including:
- Improved immune function – Studies suggest that people taking CLA supplements report fewer occurrences of common colds and flu. The acid helps improve the immune system function by reducing prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which suppress the immune system. Taking 2g to 4g of CLA daily helps improve the immune function and even trigger the protective immune system mechanism, which blocks the release of immunoglobulin (IgE antibodies) associated with allergic attacks.
- Decreased cancer risk – Recent studies also found that CLA shows great promise in fighting different types of cancers, including prostate, lung, and breast cancers. CLA works by blocking the different stages of cancer cell development, including initiation, promotion, and progression.
- Management of body fat – CLA has also been found to increase lean body mass while reducing body fat mass, thus improving the body's muscle to fat ration. This result in an increase of total energy, enhanced fat metabolism, and ultimately, reduced body fat and increased lean muscle mass.
- Prevention and management of diabetes – Along with a diabetes-friendly diet, taking in high quality CLA supplement can help improve existing diabetes and even stop adult on-set diabetes on its tracks. CLA does this by enhancing the movement of glucose into the cells, thus assisting in reducing insulin levels.
- Arthritis management – CLA also offers anti-inflammatory promises, which allows it to block excess production of inflammatory immune agents, reducing inflammation and preventing joint destruction.
About the Author:
Headquartered in Bryanston, Sandton Gauteng, South Africa, SOLAL Technologies , a Healthy Aging Specialists provides natural medicines and supplements with effective forms of nutraceuticals and herbal extracts, made in licensed facilities for quality. Bioidentical hormone advice, dermaceutical cosmetic skin creams, low-carb functional foods and sugar-free health drinks. SOLAL Technologies products are manufactured in cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) licensed facilities.
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