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Numerous studies have shown conjugated linoleic acid to be a strong cancer fighting agent, and also to aid in the reduction of fat in obese people. It has also been linked to increasing insulin levels in diabetics, increasing metabolic rates, lowering cholesterol, reducing food allergies and aiding the immune system. It seems that nearly every month a new study is released showing yet another positive effect of conjugated linoleic acid, leading many to label it a wonder-drug.
Conjugated linoleic acid can be found in animal-based foods, including milk and meat. Different meats have higher levels, and it appears grass-fed cattle have a much higher amount than grain-fed cattle. For this reason, many point to grass-fed cattle and sheep as the best source of conjugated linoleic acid.
This acid is by no means a diet miracle drug, but along with dieting and regular exercise, it has been shown to have a substantial effect. Conjugated linoleic acid does not destroy fat or strip it from the body, but it does appear to stop fat cells from growing as rapidly as they otherwise would. Basically, it assists the glucose a person ingests to be directed to muscle cells rapidly and more efficiently. This means the glucose doesn't go to feed fat cells, and instead helps muscle cells rebuild and grow. The end result is that less fat develops throughout the body, while muscle grows at a faster rate.
Modern food processing techniques strip most conjugated linoleic acid from foods, leaving most people in the modern world with a substantial deficiency. Additionally, the types of food that have high levels of conjugated linoleic acid are also high in other things — such as fat and cholesterol — making bulking up on those foods a less-than-ideal solution. For this reason, many nutritionists recommend that people consume this acid in supplement form, rather than increasing their intake of red meat and dairy.
Conjugated linoleic acid supplements are available in most health-food stores or wherever dietary supplements are sold. Most tests recommend a daily dosage of 3,400 mg to assist in the reduction of body fat and growth of muscle.
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