The importance of eating well and incorporating certain supplements into your diet cannot be underestimated, especially if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
As you may have realized though, there are many supplements on the market that propose certain effects, yet fail to provide them. For this reason, you need to be especially careful about what you are buying.
After all, if you are going to invest in a supplement, it is only fair that it works as promised.
One particular supplement that is getting a lot of attention lately is Linoleic Acid. Here is everything you need to know about whether it is right for you:
What Is Linoleic Acid?
Fatty acids are a substantial component of the human body that appears in the form of lipids.
When you hear about fatty acids, you may readily associate it with a compound that leads to weight gain. To the contrary, fatty acids are an imperative source of energy.
Linoleic acid, also known as an omega-6 fatty acid, is one of two primary fatty acids that are essential to a healthy diet, energy, and bodily function.
A few of the main characteristics of linoleic acid is that it is a polyunsaturated fatty acid because there are two double bonds that lack hydrogen.
When looking into linoleic acid, you will notice that there are two forms: traditional linoleic acid and conjugated linoleic acid. The conjugated form is a mixture of different forms of regulated linoleic acid.
Most health products and supplements are made with conjugated linoleic acid since the combination is known to have certain weight loss properties and other great health benefits for you and your body.
Since the body does not naturally produce conjugated linoleic acid or regular linoleic acid, you need to either derive it from supplements or meat, seafood, and dairy products.
Most foods do not contain as much linoleic acid as they once did because of high processing that reduces the linoleic acid content.
How Do Linoleic Acid Supplements Work
Strictly speaking of weight loss properties, conjugated linoleic acid is found to increase your metabolism, which thereby decreases your body fat composition. By helping the body efficiently convert food into energy, it prevents fat cells from enlarging and causing weight gain.
As a result, the body’s fat-to-muscle ratio is different.
To support the operational weight loss mechanisms of linoleic acid, a study was conducted.
The study, performed by the American Chemical Society, analyzed how going from using to not using linoleic acid supplements impacted weight gain.
The study found that those who quit dieting and refrained from taking linoleic acid supplements regained any previously lost weight. The fat to muscle ratio was also much worse, 75:25.
Alternatively, those who stopped dieting but kept taking linoleic acid fared better.
They maintained a 50:50 fat to muscle ratio.
In addition to weight loss properties, studies have also shown that linoleic acid also leads to an increase in muscle strength and an ability to endure longer during difficult exercises.
In a research review performed by Dr. Delbert Dorscheid, at the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Chicago, he found that conjugated linoleic acid improved fitness regiments for those who used the supplement before a workout.
In addition, it seemed that the supplement is also linked to improved immune function and a reduction in cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, allergies, and type 2 diabetes.
How Long Does It Take For Results To Show With Linoleic Acid?
As with most supplements, one of your main concerns is how long it takes for results to materialize. Studies indicate that the minimum time frame is 12 weeks. Most users continue taking linoleic acid for around 24 months, take a break, and then go back to using it.
This ensures that the body does not get used to the impact and build immunity.
Does Linoleic Acid Lead to Weight Loss?
While one study described above does suggest that linoleic acid leads to weight loss, you are probably looking for more substantial evidence. Fortunately, it does exist.
There are many studies performed on the weight loss impact of linoleic acid. The most substantial types of studies performed are randomized controlled trials, which are the most valid and conclusive form of research.
In a number of randomized controlled trials, researchers found that conjugated linoleic acid increased muscle mass and reduced overall body fat composition.
In another controlled trial performed on both men and women, it was found that linoleic acid lead to modest fat loss.
For most participants, the most pronounced impact was during the first 6 months of taking the supplement. After two years though, the effect of linoleic acid wears down.
The reasoning behind this was described earlier – your body eventually gets used to what you take. Therefore, it is important to take a break from a product.
Any Side Effects?
As with any product, you certainly don't want to have to worry about side effects. The good news is that in general, linoleic acid does not have any side effects.
However, if you do take linoleic acid for a prolonged period of time and in large doses, then you may experience a negative impact to your digestive health. In addition, your liver may also experience an accumulation of fat, which can cause diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
When taking linoleic acid, the recommended dosage is 3.2 to 6.4 grams per day. You should stick to this range because going beyond can lead to negative side effects over the long term.
Also, by remaining within the recommended dosage, you will notice the positive impact of the supplement much more readily.
The Final Consensus
Overall, linoleic acid is a great product when taken correctly. The supplement is essentially a form of fat that has fat fighting and fat burning properties.
It also works to boost your energy, improve cardiovascular health, enhance muscles, and it increases your endurance during a workout.
When choosing a supplement, just be sure that you are opting for one that does not have unnecessary and harmful fillers that can deter the positive impact of the linoleic acid.