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People who are trying to lose body fat may benefit from using conjugated linoleic acid. This trans fat that is found in dairy and certain meat products may also help to prevent colon cancer. Conjugated linoleic acid works by affecting certain muscle and fat cells, decreasing fat storage and possibly increasing muscle mass. Side effects that have been reported with the supplement include nausea, heartburn, and indigestion.
What Is Conjugated Linoleic Acid?Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a trans fat found in dairy products and meat from certain animals (such as goats, sheep, and cows). It may be a "healthy fat," and it shows promise for helping people lose body fat and for preventing cancer.
(Click What Is Conjugated Linoleic Acid Used For? for more information on what it is used for.)
Side Effects of Conjugated Linoleic AcidConjugated linoleic acid can cause several side effects, such as:
(Click Conjugated Linoleic Acid Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Is It Safe?Low doses are probably safe, although high doses can cause problems. Some people may be more likely to experience problems due to drugs and supplements. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking conjugated linoleic acid if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see CLA and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see CLA and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Is Conjugated Linoleic Acid Safe? for more information, including any available warnings and precautions.)