A study published in the March 2007 issue of the prestigious International Journal of Obesity suggests that Tonalin® CLA could have long-term health benefits in preventing weight and fat gain commonly experienced by adults as part of the normal aging process.
“These findings suggest that CLA may serve a critical role in reducing a common weight and fat gain that occurs with age,” said Prof. Dale Schoeller, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, senior author of the study. “For example about 65 percent of the U.S. population are obese or overweight – that’s a dangerous trend on many levels. We need more research like this to help overweight individuals when they are susceptible to weight gain.” According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply world-wide during the last years with many countries in Asia and Europe following the overweight trend. China’s population, for example, was once viewed as one of the leanest, but in terms of overweight and obesity, China is fast catching up with the West.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recognized that “small, often cumulative weight gains contribute to ‘weight creep’ during adulthood.” They designed a study to determine if Tonalin® CLA supplementation would help overweight adults significantly reduce body fat over a six-month period and prevent weight gain during holiday seasons. The study confirmed that taking CLA decreases body fat mass, maintains lean body mass, and aids weight management. The researchers’ findings showed that participants taking Tonalin® CLA safely reduced their body fat mass by 1 kg and their body weight by 0.6 kg. In comparison, those in the placebo group gained 0.7 kg of body fat mass and 1.1 kg of body weight during the winter months that are especially problematic for overweight individuals. These differences between the groups were also statistically significant, and the authors highlight that the reduction in body fat in the group taking CLA was observed despite a decrease in their physical activity during that time. Furthermore, unlike many other studies on body composition, participants in this trial were not restricted by a controlled diet.
Study subjects included 40 healthy, overweight men and women who took 4 grams of Tonalin® CLA or a placebo per day from August 2004 to March 2005. Participants followed “healthy lifestyle” advice and Dr. Schoeller explained that while adults in this trial were only moderately active, CLA supplementation will probably be most effective when taken as part of a daily regimen that includes exercise and a reasonable diet.
Results of this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study corroborate and expand upon earlier findings by Dr. Jean-Michael Gaullier. His long-term studies revealed that CLA reduces body fat mass in overweight but otherwise healthy adults by as much as nine percent. CLA also helped participants in his studies to keep off the fat lost during the two-year trial.
In this most recent study report, Dr. Schoeller referred to the Gaullier research and commented on inconsistent results found in other human CLA studies. He said that most of the studies with conflicting findings have only lasted 12 weeks or less, and thus are of “insufficient duration or have utiltized body composition methods that are a little less accurate than the currently accepted criterion.” The University of Wisconsin study is the first to use the criterion of ‘four-compartment body composition’ to more accurately reflect changes in body composition by combining several precise and well-accepted methods, e.g. the dual-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
According to Doris Bell, Ph.D., research platform manager at Cognis and study manager, the Wisconsin study confirmed again the safety of CLA supplementation. “Besides the routine clinical safety parameters, like lipid profile, insulin and glucose levels, we also included measurements for liver function, cardiovascular function, and markers of inflammation and endothelial function. CLA supplementation over six months did not adversely affect any of these functions.”
The study also showed that one marker called sVCAM - often described as a predictor of atherosclerotic processes - decreased significantly with CLA. “The decrease in soluble adhesion molecule sVCAM can be interpreted as beneficial and confirms other studies which showed that CLA might have anti-atherosclerotic effects, suggesting long-term benefits for cardiovascular health”, Dr. Bell stated.
Duane Fimreite, Tonalin® CLA Global Product Manager at Cognis, said: “This clinical study offers new insights into how to begin tackling the trend towards overweight and obesity. The research suggests we may begin to see life-long benefits, if CLA can help reduce the cumulative weight gain that comes with age.”
Cognis Tonalin® CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is derived from natural safflower oil, is stimulant-free, and is the most clinically tested CLA on the market.
About Tonalin® CLA:
Tonalin® CLA 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 proprietary process that converts linoleic acid from safflowers to provide the highest quality CLA in a wide range of oil and water dispersible powder forms.
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 8,000 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis 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. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining. The company holds a 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oleochemicals.
Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2005, Cognis recorded sales of 3.18 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptional items) of 356 million euros.