Top CLA Supplements – Best Conjugated Linoleic Acid Products?


Conjugated linoleic acid, which is popularly called CLA for short, is a health promoting weight loss supplement which is derived from a specific variety of protein that is present in meat and milk products.

Not only is it safe, it is also very biologically active, not to mention extremely popular among body-building and weight loss enthusiasts.

Top 10 CLA Supplements

But with so many CLA supplements available that promise so many benefits, which ones should you choose?

Luckily for you, we've done some research and found the best supplements for you. Sure there are more out there, but these are some of the best and safest:

1. NatureWise Elite CLA 1300

If you are looking for a CLA supplements that is effective and pure, then NatureWise is just the thing for you. NatureWise's “elite” CLA 1300 supplement offers 1300 mg worth of 95% linoleic acid in pure form in each of its capsules, which means that it really does pack quite the punch.

NatureWise products are certified non-GMO, which means that they do not use any genetically modified products, and by extension are completely free from normal food allergens. That said, it is not the best bet for vegans and vegetarians, since it uses softgel – a kind of gelatin.

A bottle of NatureWise Elite CLA 1300 contains 60 capsules, which means that you will have to reorder quite often, especially if you're taking regular multi-gram doses.

2. SportsResearch MaxPotency CLA 1250

While SportsResearch offers two different forms of CLA, the kind you really need is the MaxPotency version. Packed in a veggie-cellulose capsule, MaxPotency has 95% conjugated linoleic acid in pure form in each capsule, which has been derived from non-GMO certified safflower oil.

Each capsule of this supplement offers 1187 mg of proper CLA (in other words, 95% of 1250). Other than some stabilizers and binders, MaxPotency has nothing except conjugated linoleic acid in pure form (it has no fillers or extraneous oils).

All in all, this is the product for you if what you're looking for is high-dose pure CLA.

3. aSquared Nutrition CLA 1250

A company that focuses on making supplements for weight loss and bringing them to the people, aSquared Nutrition's conjugated linoleic acid supplements are not all that different.

Although nothing out of the ordinary, the product is solid. Though each capsule of this supplement does Deliver 1250 mg worth of CLA, the purity level is only 80% as opposed to 95% of many other other high-end brands. On the plus side, it does not have any of the extra oils which add to the label's fatty aid content.

4. GNC Totallean CLA

While the old school supplement company GNC is not one to be expected to make it onto any list – let alone to the top of one, the company has done its work as far as their new supplements, particularly where CLA is concerned.

This no-nonsense, high-dose supplement offers 1000 mg of CLA for each capsule, in addition to 250 mg worth unspecified oils. Though neither as pure as its counterparts nor offering anything special, it is good enough to help you achieve your goals.

5. Vitamorph Labs CLA 3000

Believe it or not, there is more to Vitamorph than its claims (and proof) of being the highest in CLA supplement dosage in the market. Not only does every capsule of VitaMorph offer 3000 mg worth of fatty acid, it offers it in not one but *two* softgels. However, the product is just 80% pure, as opposed to 95% from other top-tier CLA supplement brands.

That said, the dose is still high enough for you to achieve your goals. If you're looking for high-quality big doses, however, it’s best that you do so elsewhere. The numbers can get pretty deceptive where this one is concerned.

6. NatureWise CLA 1250

Other than the “Elite” supplement, NatureWise makes a less-pure, lower dose version as their mass-market offering. This is another supplement with deceptive numbers – despite being labeled “1250,” every capsule actually offers only 780 mg of CLA, while the remaining quantity is made up by other fatty acids.

All the same, NatureWise CLA 1250 remains a very popular and also a well-reviewed product, with several appreciating the presence of other fats such as linoleic acid (unconjugated) as well as oleic acid, which have added health benefits.

So if you're fine with an 800 mg dosage of CLA per capsule and would like to experience some added health benefits, this is a product that you will find very suitable.

7. Nature's Design CLA

Despite a decently selling product, Nature’s Design is actually quite mediocre where CLA content is concerned. Every capsule of Nature's Design offers only 780 mg CLA, along with other fatty acids such as stearic acid, oleic aid, and palmitic acid, among others.

Although Nature’s Design does declare its products as “100% natural,” it shies away from precise terms such as “organic” or “non-GMO.” It doesn't even back up its claims of purity with any kind of independent laboratory testing. All in all, it’s best for the casual consumer who likes to stay fit generally.

8. Evlution Leanmode

A rather unique product in its own right, this CLA combines the power CLA with various fat-burning and weight loss supplements. Of course, its effectiveness in your case is almost entirely dependent upon your philosophy of supplementation as well as the degree of trust you have in the chemists and nutritionists of the company.

Evlution Leanmode contains several offbeat products such as green tea and coffee beans extract, garcinia cambogia, as well as acetyl-L-carnitine. Each of these ingredients is variedly different in their efficacy, from the highly regarded green tea and coffee beans extract, to the rather controversial garcinia cambogia.

9. MusclePharm CLA Core

Aimed almost exclusively at bodybuilders, MusclePharm’s CLA supplement reduces fat mass without lessening any muscle mass. In other words, its what every a bodybuilder wants in a supplement.

MusclePharm CLA supplements combine CLA with avocado and olive oils. While it offers 1000 mg worth oils, it is impossible to see the amount of each ingredient due to the supplement being a “proprietary-blend.”

With CLA being listed first, one can say that it's the ingredient in the highest concentration, though in reality every dose might offer as little as 400 mg pure CL. This dearth of transparency actually makes it difficult to see what you're really taking and in how much quantity. Monitoring supplement routine is indeed difficult as far as this supplement is concerned.

10. Pura Vida Organique CLA 1200

This one's probably not the best of the best. Not only does Pura Vida Organique not derive its CLA from organic oils, it also claims to use a “proprietary blend” to mask the amount of real CLA present in the supplement. However, for those who aren’t min-maxing their supplementation, this product still gives a good level of results and may be right for you.

Benefits of Top CLA Supplements

A kind of fatty acid that is derived from beef and milk products, CLA is a kind of fatty acid which has a variety of health and weight-loss benefits. One of the world's most popular supplements for weight loss, CLA reduces the risk of people developing diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. The most common Omega-6 fatty acid and a polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid is present in vegetable oils in generous amounts, and in other foods in smaller amounts.

CLA, however, has a molecular structure that's very different from others. Being conjugated, their double bonds have been arranged differently.

Dietary CLA is derived from milk products and from the meat of ruminating animals like goats, cattle, and sheep. How much CLA is present in these foods is entirely dependent on the animals' consumption pattern.

In this regard, it is a fact that most animals that meet the commercial requirement for these modern foods are in fact born and have been raised in an industrial environment and consume mostly soy products and grains, as opposed to dairy animals in the past, who foraged and grazed and ate what was available in their environment, which includes small amounts of grains as well as dried grasses in the winter seasons.

There is a vast difference between the natural CLA that is found in grass-fed animals as opposed to that found in their commercially raised counterparts. This includes the dairy products, as well. CLA from products that comes from grass-fed animals, which includes both meat and dairy, is over 300%-500% extra CLA than those from animals who consume grains.

The average quantity of CLA present in a normal American diet is around 200 mg for men and over 150 mg for women. CLA in supplement form is chemically created with the alteration of molecular bonds in safflower and sunflower oils. This is a process that disturbs the ratio of various CLA forms that are found in sources that are natural, which means that the supplements thus formed will not be as beneficial or effective.

Natural CLA, on the other hand, can and does support weight loss. Researchers who researched CLA in mice back in 1987 found that its consumption actually helped in fighting cancer. Several years later, many scientists discovered that it also had contributions where reducing body fat among animals was concerned.

Some other health benefits of CLA include:

  • Reduces the amount of calories consumed
  • Increases the amount of calories burned
  • Stimulates stored fat breakdown
  • Inhibits fat cell production
  • Have anti-obesity properties (19, 20)

That said, random trials on CLA's effects on weight loss portray a result that can be called mixed at best, with some theorizing that CLA can play an important role in reducing fat mass, changing body composition, and even increasing mass of muscle on occasion. Other trials, however, showed no effect on the weight of participants.

Upon correlating data from over eighteen controlled trials, the team of researchers found that the participants' results added to a range of .02 to 3 pounds of weight loss every week for over a six-month time period. The people who took them did report some side effects, such as constipation, diarrhea, and soft stools. With so many varying results, however, one can say that CLA's effects on some might be more pronounced than others.

A diet that is rich in CLA has been seen to prevent quite a number of diseases, such as diabetes (specifically Type 2) as well as cancer.

According to many observational studies, those people who live in countries where most cows feed on grass show higher CLA levels, and subsequently have shown a significantly lower chance of contracting a heart disease. That said, a proper scientific link between these two factors is yet to be established.

Products derived from grass-fed animals are additionally rich in various nutrients such as the vitamin K2, which alters the calcium process in the body, in addition to having a profound role in preventing heart diseases.

According to collected evidence, CLA that occurs naturally has a host of benefits to offer, from supporting weight regulation to providing protection against chronic diseases.


In the event that you’re taking (or even considering) CLA supplements, you must bear in mind that these products, though effective, are made often from CLA found in reject-grade vegetable oils that have been chemically altered.

Supplements of this kind have very skewed ratios of CLA components, which are otherwise naturally found in dairy items and meat products, and fail to deliver the same benefits as CLA from full-fat dairy items and grass-fed meat.

According to various studies, taking synthetic CLA in large doses can lead to liver fat accumulation, which will ultimately lead you to develop fatty liver problems. This in turn will give rise to other, more serious diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

According to animal and human studies, while supplements do help reduce body fat levels, they also cause several undesirable effects such as insulin resistance, lower HDL cholesterol (i.e. the good variety), as well as increased inflammation.

Additionally, many participants who were a part of these studies reported experiencing side effects such as flatulence, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea, which most certainly implies that taking CLA in higher doses does increase the amount of side effects that you experience.

The daily dose that has been used in these studies range from 3.2 to 6.4 grams on an average.

Top CLA Supplements Conclusion

CLA is indeed very important not just for managing weight but for general health and wellbeing. CLA can be consumed in two forms – through naturally occurring meat and dairy items and through supplements that can be bought from drugstores. By taking CLA supplements, you can increase the intake of this fatty acid and ensure a greater immunity against weight fluctuation and chronic diseases in a short time.

That said, CLA supplements have their own list of downsides, which includes a range of chronic diseases and other health side effects. The best way to go about it is to buy and consume full-dairy and meat products from animals that feed on grass. That way, not only do you consume more natural CLA, you also end up taking other important nutrients that ensure your health and well being.

However, if this is not possible or reasonable for your diet, then the above supplements are all great sources of CLA that will each best meet the needs of different individuals.

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