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Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Weight Management

 For obese individuals, a loss of visceral fat is important in reducing the overall risk of the chronic diseases associated with obesity.

Abdominal obesity is measured by waist circumference and the degree of obesity and health risk is determined by the waist-to hip ratio. A ratio of 0.85 in women and 1.00 in men reflects the excessive accumulation of visceral fat and a larger waist circumference or inappropriate waist-to-hip ratio. This unhealthy profile is often recognised as an apple-like shape versus a healthier pear shape. The presence of excess visceral fat is linked to an increased risk of chronic disease, even among people with normal BMI, and health hazards of abdominal obesity include:

  • Insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Liver disease
  • Hypertension
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Elevated cardiovascular risk
  • Elevated cancer risk
  • Mood disorders
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Muscle loss (sarcopenia)
  • Reduced fitness

Total body weight is a combination of water, fat tissue, muscle tissue, bone, internal organs and other components. Weight loss then is either a decrease in body water, loss of fat, muscle tissue, or faecal excretion but healthy weight loss is the reduction of excess fat without impacting muscle, bone, and internal organ tissue. For obese individuals with a high waist to hip ratio, a loss of visceral fat is important in reducing the overall risk of the chronic diseases listed above. Fortunately, a relatively small amount of weight loss can have a dramatic effect on risk factors when the loss is primarily the visceral fat component.

Changing eating habits and increasing exercise are one important part of a healthy weight control program. There are also naturally occurring substances known to enhance weight loss by targeting abdominal fat—one of which is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acid typically found in dairy products and meats and has been extensively studied as a dietary supplement to help reduce fat and maintain lean muscle. Clinical trials have consistently shown CLA can help reduce body fat and increase lean body mass in obese subjects, specifically targeting the visceral fat commonly associated with increased risk of disease. Data from clinical studies indicate CLA taken as a supplement may be a very effective component of a healthy lifestyle to reduce central fat and to improve the waist to hip ratio, reducing chronic disease risk.

 INNOBIO is a leading international supplier of CLA products.

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