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CLA Supplements Reviewed by


  • What is CLA?

    Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found naturally in milk and meat and produced from safflower and sunflower oils. Various forms or isomers of CLA may perform different functions. CLA supplements are typically made from safflower or sunflower oil (see What It Is).
  • Health benefits of CLA:

    CLA has been promoted to help with slimming by increasing the ratio of muscle to fat and increasing lean body mass. However, it has not been conclusively shown to reduce overall weight. CLA may lower cholesterol levels. High intake of CLA from certain foods has been linked with decreased risk of colorectal and breast cancer in women, but there is currently no evidence that taking CLA supplements reduces cancer risk (see What It Does).
  • What did CL's tests of CLA products find?

    Lab tests showed that two products contained less CLA than claimed on their labels: one product contained just 38.5% of the CLA expected, while another was found to contain 85.8% of the CLA claimed on the label. Among products that contained their expected amounts of CLA and were Approved, CL identified one that provided very good quality at the best value (see What CL Found).
  • Cost to obtain CLA supplements:

    The cost to obtain 3,000 mg of CLA from an Approved product ranged from just 45 cents to more than triple that amount -- over $1.67! 
  • CLA safety, side effects, and drug interactions:

    Nausea and gastrointestinal upset have been reported when taking CLA. CLA supplementation may also worsen blood sugar control, decrease insulin sensitivity, and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol. Liver enlargement and cases of acute hepatitis have also been reported (see Concerns and Cautions).

Make sure you're choosing the best Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) supplements approved in our tests!

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Alphabetical list of CLA supplement brands compared in this review

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Finest Nutrition CLA

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GNC Pro Performance CLA

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GNC Total Lean CLA

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Iron-Tek Essential CLA

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MRM CLA 1250

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MusclePharm CLA Core

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Nature's Sunshine CLA

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Ortho Molecular CLA

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Primaforce Max CLA

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The Vitamin Shoppe Weight Management Tonalin CLA

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Vitacost Tonalin XS-CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplements may help with slimming by increasing the ratio of muscle to fat. However, not every brand of CLA supplement delivers the amount of CLA you expect from the label. In fact, in our most recent tests, only 38.5% of the listed CLA ingredient in one product was actual CLA. Another product provided only 85.8% of the listed CLA.

CLA is an expensive ingredient, so you don't want to be shortchanged. You also don't want to spend more than you need to, and we identified one top-quality CLA supplement that cost just one-third as much as some other high-quality products. If you are going to use CLA, you may as well use the best CLA at the best price.

You must join to get the full test results for CLA supplements along with's recommendations. You will get quality ratings for eight CLA supplements selected by and for three others that passed our voluntary, quality certification testing.  

In this comprehensive review of CLA supplements, you'll discover:
  • Which CLA supplements passed testing and which failed -- and why
  • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of CLA supplements 
  • What to look for on labels to help you get the amount of CLA you expect
  • How forms of CLA differ, and how CLA in supplements (such as Tonalin and Clarinol brands of CLA) differ from CLA in foods 
  • Dosage used for slimming
  • Concerns and cautions with CLA supplements, and who should be particularly careful with them

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.