In the case of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), this is at least to my knowledge the first time that scientists used microencapsulation in order to make what appeared to become the big next thing in diet and weightloss pills - hold on, "next big thing" would imply that there had actually been "a big thing" and that's certainly not the case - at least nothing FDA compliant, let alone the Ally's and other junk from the pharmocracy.
New Year + New Technology + New Diet Pills = New, Leaner You?
Be that as it may, the study a group of Brazilian scientists has just published in Vascular Health and Risk Management does offer some hope, at least for those of the chronically overweight who are willing to use a weight loss supplement, exactly as the name implies, as a supplement that's taken on top of a calorically reduced and not just a "If I don't eat X,Y and Z - Quack A told me I can eat as much as I want and will still lose weight" diet. If you read the scientists research hypothesis, you will probably be surprised that they did actually expect that
"[...] microencapsulated CLA supplementation would improve glucose metabolism, theI mean, we all know that one of the problems with CLA - even in those mouse and few rodent trials, where it appeared to work - was actually that it lead to increases in liver fat, beginning fatty liver and consequent insulin resistance, right?
serum lipid profile, and body composition, and decrease other cardiovascular risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome." (Carvalho. 2012)
|The addition of DHA to CLA (as grass-fed butter has it) ameliorates the negative effects (read more). If you stick to the original racemic mix of 9-cis trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers it may yet not even be necessary to protect your liver and insulin tolerance.|
No, what I actually wanted to say was: If you look at the data in figure 2 & 3, there are 3 things I want you to keep in mind:
- The sedentary, nonsmoking, nondiabetic, not post-menopausal, not having a previous hypocaloric diet, and not taking dietary supplements or any medication to reduce body weight (read up on "Long term dieting makes you fat and insulin resistant") were on a diet with a caloric deficit designed to have them lose 2kg per of body weight per month. That's pretty reasonable, but still a major difference to just popping a pill and waiting for the body fat to fall off (look at how successful the diet alone was!)
Figure 1: Long diets need adjustments in caloric intake (Carvalho. 2012)
- The women would have had tremendously more success if they this study had had an exercise component, as well. With an energy expenditure of 22.27kcal/day and 23.35kcal/day from their usual "physical activity" - they could as well have been lying on the couch. Not that it was important or even smart to burn as many calories as possible, but ~23kcal is what most of you burn in 3-4 minutes of leisurely jogging or even brisk walking.
|Figure 2: Changes in parameters of blood glucose and lipid management (Carvalho. 2012)|
|Figure 3: Effects of 3 months supplementation with 3g of microencapsulated CLA on body morphology (Carvalho. 2012)|
Bottom line: Without a regular CLA control group this study tells us essentially nothing about the potency of microencapsulated conjugated linolic acid. After all, there are other human studies (also in obese individuals, also on a diet) reporting similar benefits with regular CLA (btw. in 99% of the cases also racemic mixtures). If anything the study confirms that in it's natural form, which is not an isolate of the fat burning and in high doses even fat annihilating (read more) trans-10, cis-12 CLA, is save probably healthy, but it is no magic anti-obesity pill (let alone something you take today and wake up ripped to the shreds tomorrow).
|Another argument against the necessity of "functional" (?) CLA products, like ME-CLA jam, is the previous study showing that ~1.5g of CLA and vaccenic acid from dairy, beef, veal and lamp could prevent the subtle weight we all tend to ignore until it's already to late (read more)|
On a different note: Thanks for all the good wishes and the appreciation you expressed in the comments. The did not go unnoticed! Hope all of you are more or less sober again, today, and in case you are not - don't forget the "Bismarck Herring" ;-)
- Carvalho RF, Uehara SK, Rosa G. Microencapsulated conjugated linoleic acid associated with hypocaloric diet reduces body fat in sedentary women with metabolic syndrome. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2012;8:661-7. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S37385. Epub 2012 Dec 13.
- Churruca I, Fernández-Quintela A, Portillo MP. Conjugated linoleic acid isomers: differences in metabolism and biological effects. Biofactors. 2009 Jan-Feb;35(1):105-11.
- Valeille K, Gripois D, Blouquit MF, Souidi M, Riottot M, Bouthegourd JC, Sérougne C, Martin JC. Lipid atherogenic risk markers can be more favourably influenced by the cis-9,trans-11-octadecadienoate isomer than a conjugated linoleic acid mixture or fish oil in hamsters. Br J Nutr. 2004 Feb;91(2):191-9.