Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Jul 1996

New Life Extension Products

New section of the magazine that features new products such as Natural Pain Relief for Arthritis and CLA.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.



This is a new feature in LIFE EXTENSION Magazine. Whenever we introduce a new product, we will include a short description of the product in this NEW LIFE EXTENSION PRODUCTS section of the magazine.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a natural polyunsaturated fatty acid found in many wholesome foods.

Dr. Michael Pariza and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin discovered and isolated CLA in grilled ground beef. Later, CLA was found in cheese where the content varies from 3-to-9 milligrams of CLA per gram of fat. The ruminants beef, lamb, and veal contain 3-to-6 mg of CLA per gram of fat, while pork, chicken and turkey contain less than 1 mg of CLA per gram of fat. Cooking increases the amount of CLA in fat.

Anti-Cancer Effects

CLA a potent antioxidant, is anti-carcinogenic, and anti-catabolic, as well as being a powerful immune system enhancer. In a study of three groups of mice exposed to carcinogens, one group was given 0.5% of CLA per total diet, another 1.0% of CLA in the diet and another group 1.5% of the diet. All three doses were shown to inhibit neoplastic development in the mammary gland. It was also found that not only does CLA inhibit the development of malignant tumors, but benign ones as well.

In a study in which mammary tumors were induced in mice, CLA treatment resulted in a 60% reduction in tumor activity. Chronic feeding of CLA in these same animals showed no adverse effects. Thus, CLA appears to be a safe and effective anti-carcinogen that can be consumed in relatively high doses. If the doses used to reduce tumors are extrapolated to a 70 kg person, the dose needed would be a daily intake of 3 grams of CLA.

Preventing Wasting Syndrome

CLA counteracts the negative effects of catabolism-the destruction of tissue, muscle loss, and weakness. In studies where catabolism was induced experimentally in rats, CLA stopped or reduced the negative symptoms associated with catabolism. It was concluded that CLA supplementation is a simple and safe intervention in patients experiencing anorexia or weight loss associated with a viral or inflammatory disease or surgery.

In Norway, where commercial salmon farms added CLA to the diet of their fish, the salmon fed CLA put on significant amounts of weight, even though their overall food consumption did not increase. Recent studies have shown that CLA decreases arachidonic acid content in selected tissues; thus, reducing the inflammatory cascade that causes wasting.

Feeding CLA to mice exposed to endotoxins prevented severe body weight loss, whereas, fish oil was ineffective in preventing weight loss. After 24 hours, body weight losses in basal- and fish-oil-fed mice were twice that of CLA fed mice, which illustrates its anti-catabolic effect.

A Potent Antioxidant

People taking CLA have reported better health with fewer colds and flu. The fact that CLA is a potent antioxidant is crucial to its benefits. Antioxidant activity in a test-tube model has shown that, in a mixture of one part CLA to 1,000 parts linoleic acid, peroxide formation in the linoleic acid was reduced by more than 90%!

In one study, antioxidant activity was observed with only 0.25% of CLA in the diet. Comparative studies have shown that CLA is approximately two times more powerful an antioxidant than beta-carotene, three times more powerful an antioxidant than vitamin E, and almost as effective as BHT! It's been estimated that in the U.S., the average non-vegetarian consumes about one gram of CLA per day, if they eat beef, lamb and cheese-the three best sources of CLA. The optimal dosage of CLA, for immune system enhancement and the anti-catabolic effect is 2-to-4 grams.