Not all fats are created equal. Conjugated linoleic acid is a healthy fat despite the fact that it’s a trans-fatty acid — its beneficial properties override any negatives. Research has demonstrated that supplementing with CLA not only helps increase muscle mass and strength but also helps decrease body fat. In particular, CLA helps reduce body fat around the waist. This is important because it’s virtually impossible to preferentially target body fat from this area via weight training or cardio exercise.
Researchers conclude that CLA works by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that shuttles fat from the bloodstream into fat cells for storage. The less lipoprotein lipase you have coursing through your body, the less fat you’re likely to store. However, while you don’t want lots of fat floating around in the bloodstream, you don’t want lots of it in storage, either. One answer? CLA, which is thought to help the body burn “blood fat.” That’s beneficial for two reasons. One, it clears that fat out of the body before it can head to fat cells, and two, it bumps up energy and spares muscle tissue from being burned for fuel.