Conjugated Linoleic Acid May Help Dieters Maintain Muscle Mass
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that is found in meat and dairy products. According to a recent study, CLA may help people maintain muscle mass while dieting.
Sixty-six people with an average age of 32 participated in the study. All had elevated body fat percentage at the beginning of the study. Half received 3.2 grams of CLA daily for 12 weeks and the other half received a placebo. All participants were given lifestyle counseling regarding adhering to a low-fat, low-sugar diet and performing moderate exercise. The researchers measured body composition at baseline and at the end of the study period using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Participants in both groups saw reductions in body weight, waist circumference, fat mass, body fat percentage, and BMI. However, participants in the CLA group saw greater increases in trunk muscle mass compared to the placebo group. In addition, those in the CLA group with a high adherence score saw increases in total muscle mass and trunk muscle mass.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Xi’an Jiatong University Health Science Center and Oxford University. It was published online ahead of print on June 7, 2020 in the journalNutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.