Choosing the Best CLA Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Cla Supplement Brands

The most common goal of gym-attendees and most western citizens as it concerns health and wellness is weight loss. One of the common trends that has continued to emerge in the health and wellness field is that the common assumption that weight loss is simple or easy is not exactly true.

While it is critical to eat a nutritious and healthy diet and to exercise regularly, there are more precise elements of diet and nutrition that can have a positive impact both on weight loss and health. As an example, one of the more recent trends that continues to unravel is the role of inflammation in the body and its effects not only on gaining weight or fat, but many other physiological processes as well.

This has given rise to research of a variety of new elements, including the importance of fatty acids for reducing inflammation in the body and improving fat burning and weight loss. One of the most popular of these nutritional supplements is commonly known as CLA.

CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid, which refers to a mixture of several different fatty acids that have similar molecular structures. Recent research has shown promise in conjugated linoleic acid as a fat burner and for fighting harmful inflammation in the body.

CLA is a supplement that is rising in popularity in recent years and while it’s overall effectiveness has been disputed, there is promising evidence that it may be a supplement or food that actually helps to burn fat and improve weight loss. The use and effectiveness of CLA has been controversial as scientific evidence continues to be gathered to establish more consensus, but the potential is great, and it could be a useful supplement.

In this guide, we’ll break down exactly what CLA is, what to look for if and when buying and the best CLA products available today.

What is CLA?

CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a broad term that refers to a subset of fatty acids that have the same general molecular structure of 18 carbons long and 2 double bonds, that usually are two carbon molecules in separation. They are classified generally as polyunsaturated fatty acids, with the two most common being c9t11 and t10c12, code for the two bonds in each. Conjugated linoleic fatty acids reacts with a molecular signaling receptor family known as PPAR that plays a key role in fat burning, steroid signaling, inflammation and metabolism.

A simpler version is that conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, may be a key part of processes in our body that are central to fat burning, fighting inflammation and metabolism. While there is still much research to be done to determine exactly how much this contributes, the overall effectiveness of CLA and the best method for best results, research has shown promise for CLA to be an effective weight loss supplement.

CLA is most commonly found in natural food sources such as grass-fed beef and other natural meat sources. CLA that is consumer naturally from these sources is generally more potent than in supplement form, however for those who eat little to no meat or need additional weight loss assistance, CLA can be an excellent supplement choice.

Benefits of CLA

The primary proposed benefit of CLA is its role in weight loss, fat burning and metabolism. As a fatty acid, CLA can help the body to improve its metabolism which is a key factor in fat burning and weight loss.

One of the primary benefits of CLA is that it accomplishes these goals all the while being a non-stimulant. This could be an ideal factor for those looking for a weight loss supplement that does not contain caffeine or other stimulant products, for example those with high blood pressure or cardiac issues.

Who Is CLA Best Suited For?

CLA is ideally suited for those looking to lose weight, fight inflammation, and increase their metabolism. If your current fitness or health goals include fat loss or weight loss then this is a product to consider.

Common Ingredients and Forms of CLA

CLA comes in a variety of forms ranging from capsules to powders and others. Some of the key factors to be mindful of will be the additional ingredients included. The primary ingredient of any CLA supplement is, of course, CLA.

However, every product will have differing levels of CLA; an important measure to keep track of will be the grams or milligrams of CLA per dose as that will inform on the potency of the product in each serving. It also tends to be combined with other minerals and ingredients.

Dosage and Use of CLA and Potential Side Effects

As with any supplement or health-related product, it is always advised to consult with a medical professional on if it is the right choice for you, and it is also always advised to follow the recommended dosing strategy by the product.

When taking a CLA supplement, there are minimal to no side effects when staying within the recommended dosage ranges. The most common side effects with CLA are headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and diarrhea, these are essentially your body’s way of telling you you’ve had too much, and it doesn’t need the excess, though over time you may be able to adapt and gradually increase the dosage.

There is concern if you take too much CLA for an extended period of time that it can develop more serious side effects, thus it is critical to follow the dosing recommendations with the product and use it intermittently or cycle on and off rather than chronic use for an extended period of time.

In addition, CLA may not interact with medications that are often taken for other medical issues such as blood thinners for diabetes, anti-depressants or otherwise. It also can have adverse effects for pregnant or nursing mothers and those previous serious medical conditions such as diabetes. If you are taking other prescription medications, are pregnant or nursing or have serious medical conditions, be sure to consult with medical professionals prior to any use.

If you are unsure what the proper dosage is, consult with your medical professional and check the product packaging for the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) as well. The RDA will vary depending on age, gender and in general your activity level as well.

How to Pick a Good CLA Supplement

Most CLA products will have little variability in their ingredients, generally it will just CLA, therefore you’ll have to identify which version is the right choice for you and look for that option. CLA comes in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. It is also often combined with other minerals which is a factor consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from CLA, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose and the concentration of CLA rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

Top 10 CLA Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended CLA supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a CLA supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!

1. NatureWise CLA 1250

Naturewise Cla 1250

This is one of the best CLA supplements, if not the best, on the market today. It has a high degree of CLA standardized to 80% from an excellent source, safflower oil. It also includes no stimulants, making it an excellent all-natural option.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1g CLA per serving, standardized to 80%, from 1.25 grams of safflower seed oil
  • All natural and non-GMO
  • Stimulant free
  • Affordable pricing making it an excellent value
  • Well-respected brand

Company Profile:

NatureWise is one of the larger supplement manufacturers around, and they have developed a reputation for quality products by using all-natural ingredients with scientifically backed and clinically studied doses for maximum effectiveness. They have a wide variety of products that deliver the stated effect with minimal to no side effects when used correctly.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best products for a pure CLA supplement that delivers a quality amount from pure and all-natural sources. It is also stimulant free making it an ideal fat burning product for those with an aversion to stimulants, and it is affordable as well. This is arguably the best value on the market.

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2. Sports Research CLA 1250

Sports Research Cla 1250

Sports Research CLA 1250 is one of the more potent CLA products available on the market and is also a suitable vegetarian and vegan option as well. It is stimulant free, has all-natural ingredients and is affordably priced, making it an excellent value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1250 milligrams safflower seed oil
  • 1000 milligrams CLA
  • Comes in veggie soft gel capsules
  • Non-GMO and common allergen free
  • Stimulant free
  • Has a 90-day money back guarantee
  • Affordablly priced

Company Profile:

MRM stands for Metabolic Response Modifiers, a California-based supplement producer and manufacturer. They also produce a wide range of fitness products as well and their primary goal is to help customers lose weight and stay in shape, all the while maintaining high standards of production with affordable prices.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best CLA options available on the market offering just about everything you would look for in an effective CLA product. With a potent yet all-natural dose of CLA from safflower oil, veggie soft gel capsules, no stimulants and an affordable price, making it an excellent value!

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3. NOW Foods CLA 800mg

Now Foods Cla 800mg 1

NOW Foods CLA 800mg is an effective and potent product from one of the largest and most respected companies on the market today. It uses pure non-GMO safflower oil and has no stimulants, additives fillers, or unnecessary products. Coupled with an affordable price, this is a great value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 800mg active CLA per serving
  • CLA is derived from non-GMO safflower oil
  • No artificial flavors, additives, fillers or otherwise
  • Affordably priced
  • One of the more respected brands on the market

Company Profile:

NOW Foods is the maker of this product, and they are considered to be one of the companies in the greater supplement industry. For decades, they have produced products that are very high in quality yet also specialize in simplicity. They have a wealth of products, over 1,000 and are a major player in the industry.

Why We Recommend It:

This CLA supplement from industry giant NOW Foods delivers 800mg of active CLA, from 1000mg non-GMO safflower oil. It is an all-natural product, non-GMO, and affordably priced, making it one of the best values on the market today!

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4. Optimum Nutrition CLA 750mg

Optimum Nutrition Cla 750mg

Optimum Nutrition’s CLA supplement is ideal for those looking for a mild CLA supplement that is also affordable, effective and from a reputable brand. With 750mg of active CLA per serving it is a solid dose and an excellent value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil, standardized to 75% CLA
  • 750mg active CLA per serving
  • Comes in capsule form
  • Affordably priced for a great value
  • Comes from a well-known brand

Company Profile:

Optimum Nutrition, ON as it otherwise known, is one of the leading companies in the nutritional supplement industry and is the producer of this CLA product. They are best known for their Gold Standard line, particularly protein powders, however they are well known and respected for using scientifically proven ingredients and strategies in all of their products, making them a successful and respected brand.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent choice from a very well-known retailer for a CLA capsule that supplies 100% pure CLA with nothing else. The beauty is in the simplicity, an effective dose that gets you exactly what you need from CLA and nothing you don’t.

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5. MRM CLA 1250 High Potency

Mrm Cla 1250 High Potency

MRM, or Metabolic Response Modifiers is one of the more potent products on the market, delivering a strong dose of 1000 active CLA in every serving. Derived from safflower oil, this is a great product that is affordably priced.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1250mg safflower oil, standardized to 80% CLA
  • 1000mg active CLA per serving
  • Comes in capsule form
  • All-natural, no artificial ingredients
  • Affordably priced

Company Profile:

MRM stands for Metabolic Response Modifiers, a California-based supplement producer and manufacturer. They also produce a wide range of fitness products as well and their primary goal is to help customers lose weight and stay in shape, all the while maintaining high standards of production with affordable prices.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a fine product from MRM, and it has an effective and potent dose of CLA, at an affordable price with no additional ingredients or fillers, making it a CLA product that effectively hits all the marks for a quality value.

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6. Potent Organics – 100% Natural CLA

Potent Organics 100 Natural Cla

This product from Potent Organics is, as their brand name suggests, a pure, all-natural and organic product. Designed with bodybuilders in mind, it delivers a strong dose of CLA at 780mg of active CLA at an affordable price.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil, standardized to 78% CLA
  • 780mg active CLA
  • All-natural, with no fillers, additives or common allergens
  • Specifically formulated with bodybuilders in mind
  • Made in the USA
  • Affordable and a money-back guarantee for a quality value

Company Profile:

Potent Organics is a natural supplement company that aims to create effective, healthy and pure products, with an emphasis of course on organic products. They maintain a very high standard of production and also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee as they are confident in the quality and effectiveness of their products.

Why We Recommend It:

This product is ideal for a basic, simple and effective product. With no additional ingredients, fillers or otherwise, this product delivers an effective does of 100% pure CLA and nothing else, making it ideal for consumers looking strictly for pure, all-natural CLA.

7. Weight Loss Development CLA

Weight Loss Development Cla Pure Natural Quality

This CLA product comes from a unique and new company in the market founded by nutritionists and personal trainers, thus it is no surprise that one of the differentiators for this product is the inclusion of a free Ebook with each purchase to help customers achieve their weight loss goals.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil, standardized to 80% CLA
  • 800mg active CLA
  • Made in USA
  • Comes with a free weight loss guide
  • All-natural
  • More expensive than some competitors

Company Profile:

One of the relatively new companies that has emerged on the market for nutritional supplements, Weight Loss Development was founded by nutritionists and personal trainers in order to help people lead healthier lives and reach their fitness goals. They produce innovative and effective products and continue to grow as a new brand and company.

Why We Recommend It:

These are quality CLA capsules that are simple and effective. It uses pure safflower oil for improved effect and absorption, and delivers a strong 800mg in each serving, making it a simple yet effective product.

8. BulkSupplements CLA Softgels

Bulksupplements Cla Softgels

As tends to be the case with BulkSupplements products, these CLA capsules are not only effective and convenient, but one of the best bang for your buck options on the market, delivering a large amount of CLA capsules in each shipment at a lower cost per capsule.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg safflower oil per serving
  • 80% active CLA (roughly 800mg per capsule)
  • Natural and pure product, no artificial ingredients
  • One of the most affordable products on the market

Company Profile:

Bulk Supplements is a unique company in the sport nutrition market, as they specialize in providing only the powdered forms of pure supplements as opposed to varied formulas, blends, or other comparable products. Based out of Henderson, Nevada, they manufacture over 200 different pure ingredients in powder form both for sale in bulk or personal use. They are also a reputable brand, as they are registered with both the FDA and follow GMP standards.

Why We Recommend It:

This product from BulkSupplements is arguably the best overall value on the market. While it may compromise on both packaging and carry a larger serving size of 2 capsules, the cost is hard to beat for customers who are looking for a lot of CLA capsules.

9. MusclePharm CLA 1000mg Softgel Capsules

Musclepharm Cla 1000 Mg Softgel Capsules

MusclePharm CLA capsules are a unique CLA option on the market. Rather than exclusively using safflower oil, they use a special CLA core blend with multiple oil sources for a more varied CLA option.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg CLA core blend, including conjugated linoleic acids, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil. (individual quantities of each not specified)
  • Affordably priced
  • Comes from a brand known for fitness products

Company Profile:

MusclePharm, the manufacturer of this CLA supplement, is a multinational nutritional supplement company primarily based in Denver, Colorado. It is a well-known brand in the industry as one of the bigger companies and offers a wide variety of products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a solid product from a respected brand, and while their combination of multiple oil sources is unique, without knowing the exact ratio of oils makes it hard to know the full extent of the effectiveness of the CLA. That being said it is affordably priced and a good value overall.

10. Nature’s Design Pure CLA Supplement

Natures Design Pure Cla Supplement

Nature’s Design Pure CLA Supplement is an effective, simple and clean CLA supplement that delivers 780mg of active CLA in an easy to use capsule and a money back guarantee.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil, standardized to 78% CLA
  • 780mg active CLA
  • No artificial fillers or additives
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • Good value, affordably priced

Company Profile:

Based in Texas, Nature’s Design has a primary focus on producing effective weight-loss supplements for their customers and helping their customers lose weight and get in shape. They produce a wide range of products, and also offer a money-back guarantee as well.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the simplest yet effective products available on the market, and it delivers a solid dose, though not overwhelming, of CLA while affordably priced for a good value overall.

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Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.