Landmark Study in Journal of Nutrition Confirms Tonalin CLA Helps Keep Off Lost Body Fat

24-month study shows conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) maintains lean body mass (LBM) and reduced body fat mass (BFM) levels and so promotes healthy weight management

La Grange, IL (April 11, 2005) --A two-year study just published in the April issue of the prestigious Journal of Nutrition 1 concludes that long-term supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (Tonalin® CLA) is safe and well-tolerated. Furthermore, it confirms that taking CLA decreases BFM and maintains LBM, and so also aids weight management, reducing the potential ‘yo yo’ effect often associated with diet plans.

“This study is particularly exciting because it was intended to confirm the safety of Tonalin® CLA, but it went an important step further demonstrating that the people taking CLA also maintained their lean body mass and didn’t regain the body fat they’d lost,” said Nina Likins, Tonalin® CLA Marketing Manager. “It’s hard enough to lose body fat and even more difficult to keep it off, so this new research will be welcome news to dieters and those that formulate clinically proven products for this population,” she explained.

Overweight subjects who took 3.4 grams of CLA per day lost body fat in the first 12 months of the study, and were able to avoid regaining that fat in the second 12 months. The results of the study corroborate and expand upon earlier findings, published last spring in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which revealed that CLA reduced body fat mass in overweight, but otherwise healthy, adults by as much as 9 percent. They also reveal that people with the highest body mass index (BMI) and body fat mass (BFM), especially women were more likely to lose body fat than those with lower BFM.

Weight management is key, as research has shown that almost all dieters regain the weight they have lost within five years. This study shows that healthy, overweight participants taking a conjugated linoleic acid supplement (Tonalin® CLA) for two years lost body fat and did not regain it. “CLA helped study participants keep off lost weight while maintaining lean body mass – which keeps the metabolism going strong and burning calories, thereby reducing the chances of weight regain,” said Dr. Jean-Michel Gaullier of Scandinavian Clinical Research in Kjeller, Norway, and project manager of the CLA study.

“Having a product that reduces the health risks of going on and off diets - the ‘yo-yo’ effect - is groundbreaking. Interest in CLA has been spurred by consumers’ increased demand for safe, stimulant-free products for reducing unwanted inches,” said Dr. Michael W. Pariza, director of the Food Research Institute (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and a renowned CLA expert.

Another important finding is that CLA supplementation helps lower levels of leptin. High levels of the hormone leptin are associated with increased body weight. Over the course of 24 months, leptin levels dropped 20-35 percent as study subjects lost body fat.

This is the first study to document the long-term safety and efficacy of CLA supplementation over a two-year period without lifestyle or dietary restrictions. It began as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study over a 12-month period, but was later extended by a further 12 months as open treatment. Of the 157 subjects that completed the original study, 134 volunteered to participate in the extension, and 125 completed the entire 24-month study. The second 12 months were aimed at evaluating the safety of CLA and assessing its effects on body composition (body fat mass, lean body mass, bone mineral mass, body weight and BMI) over a prolonged period of time.

Overall, CLA supplementation for 24 months in healthy, overweight adults was well tolerated. Most of the adverse effects reported during the double-blind phase were unrelated to the use of CLA (94 percent). The remainder (6 percent) were rated “mild” reactions, with the most frequent complaints being gastrointestinal in nature, evenly distributed over all groups including the placebo group.

The CLA used in this study was Tonalin® CLA, an exclusively licensed product of the Cognis Group. CLA, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, found naturally in ruminant animals like cows, lowers the amount of fat normally stored after meals, helping the body to break down and efficiently use fat. However the changes during the past 30 years in how cattle are raised (grain fed vs. grass fed) coupled with the trend toward low-fat dairy and reduced beef consumption have drastically reduced the amount of CLA humans acquire through diet. It is thought that CLA has two main sites of action: the adipocytes or fat cells, the principal site of fat storage, and the

skeletal muscle cells, the principal site where fat is burned for energy. It has been proposed that CLA decreases body fat mass through four actions: by decreasing the amount of fat stored after eating, increasing the rate of fat metabolism, increasing the rate of fat breakdown in fat cells, and decreasing the total number of fat cells.

As the latest research shows, CLA’s primary benefit is body fat reduction and helping to prevent fat regain - and as such it could be a valuable addition to a healthy diet and exercise program for weight management.

For more information about Tonalin® CLA, visit or please call 800.673.3702 to place an order, e-mail [email protected], or fax 513.482.3576.
About Tonalin® CLA:
TONALIN® is the original brand of CLA and is an exclusively licensed product of the Cognis Group. CLA is a polyunsaturated, conjugated fatty acid that is a natural part of the human diet found primarily in meat and dairy products. Cognis produces TONALIN® CLA through a new proprietary process that converts linoleic acid from safflowers into CLA, providing the highest quality of CLA available. TONALIN® CLA contains the lowest amount of non-naturally occurring isomers, a patent-protected attribute that provides food manufacturers with the highest levels of ingredients known to be beneficial. CLA is available in several product forms – oil and water-dispersible powder – that offer food manufacturers a broad range of options for their new products.

About Cognis:
Cognis ( is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients. It employs about 8,100 people, and has production sites and service centers in 30 countries. The company has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics, as well as agriculture and mining. Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. In 2004, Cognis recorded sales of 3.07 billion Euros and an operating profit before depreciation, amortization and exceptional items (EBITDA adjusted) of 362 million Euros.

Cognis Nutrition and Health, a business unit of Cognis Group, offers one of the industry’s largest portfolios of natural-source, health-enhancing ingredients for dietary supplements, functional foods, medical nutrition, pharmaceutical and healthcare products. As a global supplier, Cognis partners with industry leaders to provide science-backed products to meet today’s most pressing consumer health needs. Cognis also manufactures emulsifiers, emulsifier-based compounds, and numerous other specialty products for the food industry worldwide.

For study abstract: please visit the Journal of Nutrition at


1Gaullier, J-M et al J. Nutr. 2005 135:778-784.

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