CLA Safety

It is important to understand the CLA safety warnings and precautions before taking the product. For example, some forms of CLA may increase blood sugar levels, which may cause problems for people with diabetes. You should also make sure the manufacturer of your CLA product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer, because sometimes what you see on the label does not adequately reflect what is in the bottle.

Is CLA Safe?

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a fat that is found in dairy and some meat products. It can also be man-made and is currently a popular supplement for weight loss, bodybuilding, and other objectives. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking CLA if you have:
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific CLA Safety Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of CLA include the following:
 
  • Some forms (known as "isomers") of CLA may increase blood sugar levels, which may cause problems for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, check with your healthcare provider before taking a CLA supplement. There is some evidence that the man-made form of CLA (found in most supplements) contains more of the isomers of CLA that are responsible for this negative effect, compared to naturally occurring CLA.
     
  • Some forms of CLA may increase the level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory protein in the blood. This may be particularly undesirable for people who have heart disease (or are at risk for heart disease).
     
  • It is not known if CLA interacts with medications (see CLA Drug Interactions for more information).
     
  • It is not known if CLA is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (see CLA and Pregnancy and CLA and Breastfeeding).
     
  • If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your CLA is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.
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