Best CLA Supplements

If you’re trying to burn fat and lose weight, you may have heard of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. You may have a number of questions about it, which we’ll address in this article.

Based on the available research, we believe that CLA can be an effective weight loss supplement, but there are some caveats, which we’ll discuss a bit further in the article.

We also list the best CLA supplements on the market today, but first, we’ll take a look at what CLA is and its safety so that you can make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you.

 

What is CLA?

Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that’s found in meat and dairy.

It’s a polyunsaturated, omega-6 fatty acid, which basically means that it’s a trans fat. While it is a fat, it’s the good kind of fat that’s found naturally in healthy foods, much like what’s found in fish oil. (1)

Scientific interest in CLA started out with animal testing, where researchers found that it was effective in reducing weight in several ways. (2)

In the largest meta-analysis on CLA and weight loss in humans, researchers found that based on the results of 18 eligible studies, CLA was responsible for a modest loss of fat. (3)

 

#1: Sports Research Max Potency CLA 1250

Image of a bottle of Sports Research Max Potency CLA 1250

We’ve tested Sports Research’ products before and have found them to be high quality, so we feel confident in rating their Max Potency CLA 1250 number one best CLA supplement on our list. This product has a potent dose of CLA and uses all-natural, vegan-friendly, kosher-friendly ingredients.

This supplement is made with 1250 mg of safflower oil, 1187 mg of which is CLA, or 95%. This is indeed a potent dose which has the potential to encourage weight loss, as long as you have the body/physiology that responds to it well. However, this supplement should be used to cycle, i.e. taken for a month when you really need to lose weight and then stopping until the side effects of CLA supplementation is better known.

This supplement comes in soft gel capsules made of kosher vegetable glycerin, kosher gelatin, purified water, and natural carob.

It’s free of soy, peanuts, dairy, gluten, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat, yeast, preservatives, magnesium stearate, binders, and fillers. It’s also nice that there are no stimulants added to this supplement, such as caffeine.

Pros:

  • Contains a potent amount of CLA
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Kosher-friendly
  • Free of allergens

Cons:

  • Can cause bloating
  • Can cause diarrhea
  • Causes fatigue in some
  • The soft gels are very large, making them difficult to swallow

Active Ingredient Quality:

Price:

Average Consumer Rating:

 

#2: BulkSupplements CLA Softgels (1000mg)

Image of a bag of BulkSupplements CLA

Bulk Supplements’ 1000 mg CLA Softgels is yet another great option when it comes to CLA supplements.

BulkSupplements says that a standard serving size for this product is 2 capsules, but says on the label to take between one and three daily. At 300 capsules for this particular product, that’s a 150-day supply. However, you could just start out by taking one capsule a day, which would be 500 mg.

This is around the amount that study participants have been given for studies on CLA. It’s a safe amount and plenty to assess whether it’s effective for you or not.

This product is free of yeast, dairy, soy, sugar, gluten or any additives. Unfortunately, though, it is made with a bovine-based gelatin capsule, so it’s not suitable for vegans.

Pros:

  • Gives you the option of taking a smaller dose by taking just one pill
  • Free of many allergens
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Has an unpleasant aftertaste

Active Ingredient Quality:

Price:

Average Consumer Rating:

 

#3: NatureWise CLA 1250

Image of a bottle of NatureWise CLA 1250 Weight Loss Supplement

NatureWise CLA 1250 is yet another CLA supplement that has the potential to help you lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.

NatureWise’s CLA supplement offers 1250 mg of CLA standardized to 80% from safflower seed oil.

This product is very reasonably priced, considering it comes with 180 servings. These pills come in soft gels made of halal gelatin, glycerin, purified water, and carob.

They do not contain gluten, wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, fish or shellfish so they’re allergen-free.

Like NatureWise’s other products, it comes with their Transparency mobile app, which allows you to track your specific product through the process of production and from where each ingredient was sourced. Their products are also backed by a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with it.

Pros: 

  • Is vegetarian-friendly
  • Doesn’t contain any allergens
  • Comes from a company that has good transparency practices
  • Has a money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Comes in soft gels, which can be hard on your stomach

Active Ingredient Quality:

Price:

Average Consumer Rating:

 

#4: Optimum Nutrition 750 mg CLA

Image of a bottle of Optimum Nutrition CLA Softgels

When it comes to supplements, more is not always better, and we like Optimum Nutrition’s 750 mg CLA supplement particularly because they didn’t go overboard with the dosage.

This supplement comes in the form of soft gel pills, so, unfortunately, it’s not suitable for vegans. We’re also not big fans of how Optimum Nutrition included caramel color in this supplement, which we find unnecessary but ultimately should be harmless. On the other hand, it does come with a 90-day supply at a very affordable price.

This supplement contains a patented form of CLA called Clarinol® which claims to be a high-quality form of CLA and supposedly is more agreeable with the gastrointestinal system than other forms of CLA.

Pros:

  • Contains a safe amount of CLA
  • Is a great value for the price

Cons:

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Contains unnecessary ingredients

Active Ingredient Quality:

Price:

Average Consumer Rating:

 

#5: MET-Rx® CLA Tonalin 1000

Image of a bottle of Met-Rx CLA Tonalin 1000

MET-Rx®’s CLA Tonalin 1000 has received very positive reviews over a large number of sales, so we thought we should look into this supplement and see what consumers like about it.

Similar to the previous supplement on our list, MET-Rx® CLA Tonalin 1000 uses a patented form of CLA derived from safflower oil, called Tonalin. Tonalin is marketed as a form of CLA that is specifically formulated for weight loss, but we don’t see any indication that it’s more effective for weight loss than regular CLA.

This supplement contains 1000 mg of Tonalin, 78-84% of it being CLA, so each pill likely has 780-840 mg of CLA. These are gelatin rapid release soft gels, so, unfortunately, they aren’t vegan-friendly. Like #4 on our list, they too contain caramel color, which we find unnecessary.

MET-Rx® suggests combining these with daily exercise for best results, which we 100% agree with.

Pros:

  • Contains a reasonable amount of CLA
  • Comes in rapid release pills

Cons:

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Contains unnecessary food coloring

Active Ingredient Quality:

Price:

Average Consumer Rating:

 

Potential Side Effects

As with any dietary supplements, you can’t just focus on the positive and disregard the negative side effects that may come with it.

Likewise, many supplements contain a noticeably higher amount of their active ingredients than what you could conceivably get naturally through the diet. The same is often the case with CLA supplements.

This can lead to some mild to serious side effects. Some of the milder side effects include diarrhea, oxidative stress, and resistance to insulin. (4)

On the more serious side of things, too much CLA for a prolonged period of time it has the potential to result in fat accumulating in the liver. This is a precursor to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. (5) (6) (7)

For this reason, we recommend only using CLA for a cycle and then stopping. At this point, there just isn’t enough data on the safety of long-term CLA consumption.

 

Conclusion

Each of these CLA supplements are worthy products in their ways, but overall we believe that Sports Research Max Potency CLA 1250 is the best CLA supplement on the market and is the way to go for most people.

It has a potent dose of CLA combined with it being free of allergens. In other words, it ticks pretty much all the right boxes for being a quality supplement, aside from a couple of downsides.

Do you have experience with any of these products listed on our best CLA supplements list? Let us know about your experience in the comment section.

Sources

Leave a Comment