Linoleic acid is a chemical compound which belongs to the NNKT group of unsaturated fatty acids, essential for the proper functioning of the body. Since it is not produced by the body itself, it must be supplied in appropriate doses with food. This is important because linoleic acid is characterized by many positive health properties. What’s more, conjugated linoleic acid CLA may accelerate the reduction of body fat.
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What is linoleic acid and what role does it play?
This organic chemical from the group of unsaturated acids Omega 6 belongs to the so-called endogenous substances, which means that it is not synthesized by the body and must be a component of the daily diet. And because unsaturated fatty acids play an extremely important role in a number of biochemical transformations and physiological activities, we should take care to provide the body with this substance on a regular basis.
In the case of the described chemical compound we are dealing with conjugated bonds, therefore it is often referred to as CLA conj ugated linoleic acid . Interestingly, although we are dealing with a trans fat, in no way can we count it among the group of harmful fats created in the process of hardening vegetable oils. Linoleic acid is produced naturally in the digestive tract or milk glands of ruminant animals such as cows, sheep, goats and marsupials such as kangaroos.
CLA is used not only in the food industry, but also in cosmetics. Studies have confirmed its numerous health-promoting attributes, including anti-cancer and anti-atherosclerotic properties, as well as its beneficial effect on skin condition.
Linoleic acid – health properties
Data collected by scientists have shown that CLA conjugated linoleic acid is characterized by very strong antioxidant effects. This was found by observing the relationship between the consumption of dairy products and the risk of cancer, especially in relation to colon, lung, breast and melanoma cancer. Research also shows that linoleic acid inhibits the formation of atherosclerotic plaque by preventing oxidation of cholesterol. At the same time, it lowers blood pressure and raises the level of “good” cholesterol HDL.
There are also strong indications that CLA has a beneficial effect on increasing the immune system by stimulating the production of lymphocytes. It is also important for bone health and osteoporosis prevention, especially when combined with higher calcium intake.
Finally, it is impossible to underestimate the role of linoleic acid in weight loss, or its effect on the condition of the skin and hair.
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Linoleic acid – occurrence in food products
CLA conjugated linoleic acid is synthesized in the gastrointestinal tract and milk glands of ruminant and marsupial animals. Therefore, the best and natural sources of it are dairy products and their products, as well as the meat of these animals. Linoleic acid can therefore be found in:
- full-fat milk;
- Products such as butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, ripened cheese;
- beef, mutton, veal, horse meat, venison, kangaroo meat.
It is worth realizing, however, that the quantity and quality of CLA depends on many different factors, primarily on the manner and conditions in which the animals are raised. The most valuable milk and meat comes from animals raised in organic farms, grazed in spring and summer in a natural, clean environment.
Linoleic acid is also found in some plant products. These are primarily vegetable fats – sunflower oil, grape seed oil, soybean oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil. Of course, the raw materials for oil production also contain it – sunflower seeds, grape seeds, evening primrose, flaxseed. CLA is also found in some mushrooms, including the popular mushroom.
We should also mention the widely available dietary supplements containing conjugated linoleic acid CLA, often in combination with other substances that enhance its actions in a specific area.
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Linoleic acid for weight loss – how does it affect our silhouette?
CLA plays an important role in the process of weight loss, that’s why it is often one of the ingredients of supplements designed to help people fighting excessive weight and body fat. Its usefulness in weight loss results from several characteristic properties. Among other things, conjugated linoleic acid blocks the action of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which translates into a reduction in fat tissue. It stimulates the process of lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in muscles, increasing the body’s energy expenditure.
Although the exact mechanism of linoleic acid’s effect on overweight has not yet been fully diagnosed, there’s no doubt that while having a significant effect on fat tissue reduction, it also supports physical activity. It makes the body draw more energy from its reserves for exercise. What’s more, its beneficial effect on burning takes place also in resting states. CLA also promotes muscle growth.
CLA conjugated linoleic acid is helpful in weight loss because:
- stimulates the fat burning process;
- Increases energy expenditure;
- normalizes fat metabolism in the body;
- minimizes fat storage;
- improves metabolism;
- promotes physical activity.
However, we must remember that the process of losing weight takes place on several levels, and achieving the desired results is possible only if we approach the matter comprehensively. Apart from introducing linoleic acid to the diet, whether in the form of natural products or dietary supplements, it is necessary to change our lifestyle.
Regular physical activity (e.g. jogging, nordic walking, stationary bicycle, swimming pool, zumba, etc.), a new healthy eating plan combined with a supplement containing CLA and other substances which help reduce body fat – all this together is a guarantee of success. And that’s under the condition that you stick to your strategy for a longer period of time and consistently.
A dietary supplement that may prove particularly helpful in slimming, containing among others conjugated linoleic acid CLA, is Keto Actives. This is an innovative, multi-ingredient product with a broad spectrum of action. The presence of CLA, Indian nettle, bitter orange, ashwagandha, chromium and several other elements in one capsule makes Keto Actives a very effective tool in the fight for a slim figure.
Read more about Keto Actives
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