Best CLA Supplements
Fat. Something we typically want to lose from our bodies and cut out of our diet. However, it is important to realize there are GOOD fats and BAD fats. Good fats, such as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) are often found in meat and dairy and have been linked to studies showing that they improve heart health, aid in body sculpting and weight loss, and boost immunity. With CLA supplements being one of the most popular current trends, distinguishing the real-deal from the knock-offs can be a daunting task. You always want to make sure you can see exactly how much of this fat in your supplement and that it is fresh. It has been said that three to four grams a day is a healthy dosage. To take the guesswork out of the research, we have gone ahead and rounded up our top ten picks for you here.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
It is 100 percent tested and GMP certified
The 180-count option offers amazing value
The side effects are kept to a minimum
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST CLA SUPPLEMENTS
1. RSP NUTRITION
It is 100 percent tested and GMP certified
The 180-count option offers amazing value
The side effects are kept to a minimum
There have been a few naysayers
In spite of the fact that there have been a few naysayers to speak against the effectiveness of this option, from top to bottom, it is the best on the market right now.Read more
The safe and comprehensive formula used here contains a 1000-milligram blend of the fatty acid per each serving.
It is claimed that this is 100 percent tested and GMP certified. What this means is all the ingredients have been scientifically tested and researched. Also, it means that each batch is produced in a laboratory that has been GMP certified.
Ease of Use
At ¾ inches in size, these pills are not exactly small and you may have trouble getting them down. What is nice, however, is they will not hurt your stomach when you digest them.
There are two options you can go with here. The choice is yours between 90 or 180 soft gels.
Typically, the larger of the two containers offers a better value and that is the case here. However, the 180-count bottle (though always subject to change) is actually offered at a cheaper price than the 90-count bottle.
With a product such as this, there are always going to be critics. But, as you can see, this option provides superb value, good potency, and excellent purity and quality.
2. NATUREWISE 1250
The pills are made with clean and natural ingredients
It has been tested by third-party laboratories
The pills do go down easily
The pills are quite large
For popularity alone, this supplement deserves recognition. After all, if enough people are praising the effectiveness and design of any one particular product, eventually, you start buying into the hype too.Read more
In addition to the fact that the fatty acid comes from pure and certified sources, each soft gel you ingest will provide you a 1250-milligram blend of the fatty acid.
To ensure that each pill you ingest is as pure as it can be, each batch that is produced is tested by third-party laboratories for chemical, physical, and microbial contamination.
Ease of Use
In spite of the fact that the soft gels are fairly large in size, they are easy to digest thanks to their non-chalky texture. But, they are pretty big so be wary of that.
Most sellers typically provide you with a few capacity options and NatureWise is no different. The choice is yours from either a 90 or 180-count container.
Both of the options offer pretty good values but the 180-count is the better of the two. Unless you want to test the waters here, go with this option.
A lot of you will prefer to stick to formulas that have been tried and tested by both independent sources and consumers alike. In this regard, this option is fantastic.
3. EVLUTION NUTRITION
The value is very good
The formula is scientifically-based
Contains the purest form of CLA
Some side effects have been noticed by previous users
Brand recognition is often an important buying factor of any product and when it comes to supplements, Evlution Nutrition is one of those brands that you know you can trust.Read more
Evlution Nutrition is one of the many manufacturers that has made a CLA supplement that provides a 1000-milligram blend of the fatty acid per every serving you take.
When it comes to Evlution Nutrition, there is no need to question their quality or purity. They produce and manufacture all their batches with premium ingredients and in state-of-the-art laboratories.
Ease of Use
These gel capsules have a reputation of being easy to swallow and easy on the stomach. However, if you glance through user feedback, you will notice that a few consumers have experienced some minor side effects (including heartburn and excessive pooping).
With the 90-count bottle that is offered, you get 90 servings, which is pretty good. But, if you want to buy in bulk, you will need to simply buy multiple 90-count containers.
There are cheaper options on the market but in conjunction with the potency and quality, the value provided from Evlution Nutrition is still admirable.
Just to note, you may not experience some of the side effects that others have. This is important because you need to know that this option truly can be fantastic for several of you.
4. MP ESSENTIALS 1000
There are multiple capacity options available
It has been banned-substance tested
Backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee
Oil-like burps can persist afterward
Again, you can never go wrong with a trusted brand. If there is one thing you can take to the bank with Muscle Pharm (MP) supplements, it is that they are all formulated with the highest quality and purity in mind.Read more
Per serving, each pill you take features a nice blend of extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and CLA (totaling 1000 milligrams).
Looking past the fact that this is formulated with the highest quality in mind, it has also been banned-substance tested. As such, it has been certified by Informed-Choice.
Ease of Use
Despite the fact that it seems these pills are pretty easy to swallow, oil-like burps can persist afterward. This makes sense when you factor in the ingredients.
If you did not want the 180-count bottle then you could opt for either the 90 or 270-count options. Having this variety is simple yet really nice.
Each of the available options offers fantastic value but the 270-count bottle is the best of the three (and is the one that is the most recommended).
Look, no one enjoys burping up fish oil but that is simply one of the possible side effects to taking this option. The potency and purity make up for it, though.
5. BRONSON 3000
Each batch is produced at a GMP certified facility
Backed by a one-year money-back guarantee
Comes in either 120 or 300-count bottles
Other options offer better value
The pills are very large
Even though you could argue that other options on the market offer better value, very few of you will be disappointed if you choose this option over the rest.Read more
Each serving you take is going to require two pills but each of them accounts for 1125 milligrams of active CLA (which is actually a bit higher than you normally see).
First off, the ingredients utilized here are top-notch and high in quality. As for the manufacturing process, each batch created is done so in a GMP certified facility.
Ease of Use
For such large pills (and these are pretty massive being one inch in size), these are actually not too difficult to get down. But, that does not change the fact that they are huge. As usual, some reviewers experienced slight stomach discomfort after taking these pills.
There are two size options at your disposal. You can opt for the smaller of the two (which offers 120 pills) or the larger of the two (which offers 300 pills).
No matter which way you go, the value is good. But, the serving size is two so take that into consideration.
One important aspect of this brand that has not even been discussed yet is the warranty. Even if this proves to be ineffective for you, it is backed by a 365-day money-back guarantee. So, what is the risk?
6. BULKSUPPLEMENTS SOFTGELS
You can buy this in bulk
It has been lab-tested for purity
The value is through the roof
Two soft gels only equate to 1500 milligrams of the fatty acid
You can notice a synthetic oil flavor when you burp afterward
One of the benefits of a BulkSupplements is they often sell their formulas in massive packages. With this specific option, you can buy a package with an astonishing 6000 soft gels inside.Read more
For the record, the serving size here is two and the total milligram count is 1589. This means that each pill offers less than 1000 milligrams of the fatty acid.
Past the fact that there are no added fillers with this formula, it has also been lab-tested to ensure maximum purity and quality.
Ease of Use
As one reviewer noted, a rather potent synthetic oil aftertaste can persist here. As far as consumption itself is concerned, the pills will not be anything you are not used to.
Yes, you can actually buy a 6000-count of this supplement. If this is out of your ballpark, however, there are also options that come with 100 and 300 pills.
In regard to saving money in the long run, the 6000-count package arguably offers the best value on the entire market. The others are not too shabby in this regard, either.
BulkSupplements has a very appropriate name, do they not? Buying in bulk is what they are known for so this product should not surprise you too much.
The potency is very high
The relation of price and quality is superb
Features a well-designed bottle
There is not a ton of feedback to go off of
Even though this may be one of the least recognizable brands on the market, this formula is about as good as it gets. You will also not find too many options with a higher potency on a per-serving-basis.Read more
Indeed, each serving delivers as high potency as you will ever see (3000 milligrams). Then again, the serving size is three so this begins to make a little more sense.
In addition to being non-GMO, each soft gel is also free of any artificial sweeteners, wheat, lactose, or soy.
Ease of Use
Though you may want to consume these pills with a glass of water, they should not be too tricky to get down so that is a plus. As far as side effects, there haven't been many negative comments.
If you choose to go with this option then you will receive a bottle with 300 soft gels. Again, remember that for each serving, you will need to take three (so there are 100 servings in the bottle).
In relation to the price and the quality, the value is quite good here. Actually, it is really good when you take all the factors into the fold.
Okay, so you may not want to take three pills each time you want a serving. But, remember that each serving provides 3000 milligrams of potency (which is higher than usual) making this a compelling option.
8. SPORTS RESEARCH PLANT-BASED
Vegan and vegetarian-friendly
Short ingredients list
Easy to swallow
Mostly positive reviews
Leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth
Only 80% CLA
Hey vegans! Vegetarians! Over here! This plant-based formula is a great way for you to reap the benefits of this great supplement! This product has a very short ingredient list and each capsule contains 1000mg of Conjugated Linoleic Acid. With the exception of a possibly unpleasant after taste, there’s not much more to complain about.Read more
In each capsule, you’ll receive at least 80% Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Each one contains 1250mg of Safflower oil, 1000mg of which translates to Conjugated Linoleic Acid. When taking the recommended three capsules a day, you’ll end up with a 3000mg dose per day.
This is a vegan product. All of the ingredients are non-GMO and the vegan capsule contains organic lemon for hopes of a better taste. There is no caffeine or extra unnecessary ingredients. It is also an allergen-friendly option. This product is not manufactured with any shellfish, nuts, wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, or fish.
Ease of Use
Sports Research suggests taking one capsule three times a day. This capsule should be taken thirty minutes before a meal. There hasn’t been a lot of negative comments about the side effects of this product. A few have experienced minor stomach discomfort and others noticed a decrease in appetite. A couple of points that almost all of the reviewers agree with is that the capsules are fairly easy to swallow and that they tend to leave an unpleasant oily taste behind.
This product is only offered in one capacity, of 180 soft gels. Considering that you will consume three per day, this gives you about a two-month supply. Some reviewers took things into their own hands and upped their dosage to four a day.
This is an affordable option. What makes it even better is that the manufacturer offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
For vegans, vegetarians, sensitive stomachs, or someone with allergies, this is a great option. It has plenty of benefits and minimal reports of side effects. It comes in at an affordable price point without sacrificing the integrity of its ingredients.
9. SILVER PEAK NUTRITION
Each batch is produced in a GMP certified facility
The pills are easy to swallow
The potency is a bit higher per serving
A few users reported they had pounding headaches after taking these pills
While most options on the market are formulated to deliver 1000 milligrams of this fatty acid per serving, this one promotes 2000 milligrams (which multiplies the potency).Read more
This is another option that requires more than one soft gel (two) for one serving’s worth of CLA. As for the potency of the serving, as mentioned, it is 2000 milligrams (which is really good).
There is no need to worry about contamination or poor quality with this option as it has been manufactured and processed in a facility that is GMP certified.
Ease of Use
The pills themselves are quite easy to swallow but be aware that a few previous buyers have noted they received pounding headaches after taking them.
In the bottle you receive with your purchase, there are 120 soft gels. Keep in mind, however, that the serving size is two (meaning there are actually 60 servings in the bottle).
Good price and good value overall but you also can’t say that this has the best value on the market.
Sometimes, it is fun to take a chance on a new brand. Sure, there is a slight risk factor involved but even if this turned out to do nothing for you, the cost is not very high.
Comes with 180 soft gels
Each pill is derived from non-GMO safflower oil
Produced in state-of-the-art laboratories
The potency could be greater
A few users have had upset stomachs afterward
From an overall perspective, this is another well-designed formula here. Then again, some users have had some minor gripes that you may want to be aware of.Read more
Each soft gel you consume provides you with 800 milligrams of the fatty acid. While a little lower than other options, this is still not bad.
The one thing about NOW is you know their supplements are formulated with great quality and care. This is proven due to the state-of-the-art laboratories that they utilize.
Ease of Use
In spite of the fact that a few users have noted this has upset their stomach, the pills (though large) are pretty easy to swallow.
The 180-count bottle is right in the middle in terms of large and small capacities. It could even be seen as the perfect amount of soft gels, quite frankly.
When you factor in how much you are paying for each individual soft gel and its potency, you draw the conclusion that the value is above-average.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with NOW products. Need more be said here?
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Though most options will be in the same ballpark, the potency can still vary.
We have alluded to this a few times already but one of the main reasons for taking CLA is for weight loss. In fact, it has been known as one of the best fat burners available on the market. However, it all depends on how much of the fatty acid that you are consuming. The question then becomes, though, how much is this? It is worth noting that studies in the past have used doses of anywhere from 3.2 to 6.4 grams per day. Around three grams daily are needed for weight loss but taking up to six grams per day has not been shown to have adverse side effects, as well.
When it comes to choosing a supplement (with so many of them available on the market), the potency then becomes a good starting point. Of course, this is where things can get a little tricky. On the product label of any model on the market, you will find how much CLA is offered per serving. However, not all of this will be fatty acid as some of it will be safflower or sunflower oil. Ideally, look for formulas that use 80 percent of the fatty acid. In general, you will typically either see formulas with 1250 or 1000 milligrams of CLA blend (which includes the oil).
This is as important as any other section in this guide without question.
When it comes to the purity of any type of dietary supplement, there are a number of different layers that come into the fold and that is certainly no different here. The first “layer” is assessing where a particular formula was processed and manufactured. Ideally, look for options that have been done so in facilities that are GMP certified. You have probably heard of GMP before but if you have not, it is an acronym for Good Manufacturing Process and it is a system that is set out to ensure that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards (especially when it comes to any type of pharmaceutical production).
Moving on, the second “layer” is to see if any third-party testing has been conducted. If you ever see options that have been, it simply means that an independent organization has reviewed the product and deemed that it complies with specific standards set out for performance, quality, and safety. Oh, and you can also look for options that have been banned-substance tested. Typically being certified by Informed-Choice, supplements with this certification have been tested for banned substances by LGC’s anti-doping lab.
Ease of Use
Most models will come in soft gels and will not be too hard to swallow. Of course, look out for some side effects.
As you noticed from this list, many of the best options on the market come in soft gel form. For the record, soft gel pills are different than capsules even though they look very similar. These actually consist of a gelatin-based shell that surrounds a liquid fill. The shell is essentially there to offer protection from product degradation and also oxidation. Of course, you never want to chew into them as the resulting flavor will not be very pleasant in the slightest. So, this means you need to swallow them. In general, they tend to be easier to swallow than tablets or capsules. Then again, some soft gel CLA supplements are downright enormous in size so take that into consideration.
Okay, so there is something else that needs to be discussed here. As with most pills and medicines, there are possibilities of side effects when you supplement this fatty acid. If you look through reviews, you may notice users criticize a particular option for upsetting their stomach or causing “fish-like” burps afterward. Then again, everyone’s body may react differently to this kind of stuff so you may not experience the side effects that others do.
Though you may just want the largest option out there, you may want to think twice.
Alright, so how many of you out there really did not like math when you were in school? Or, better yet, how many of you still despise it to this day? Why are these two questions even relevant right now? It is quite simple, really; when it comes to the capacity you need to keep a certain amount of variables into mind.
The first, of course, is the capacity of the actual bottle. In other words, assess how many pills are inside. Now, you would think that the more there are the better, right? For the right people, this concept will apply but it will not do so for everyone. Really, you may want to look for a variety to have a few different capacity options at your disposal.
Let’s dive into some other variables, shall we? How about the serving size as some options will require only one soft gel per serving (while others will require two). This becomes important because if a bottle has 300 soft gels but you need to take two for a serving, it essentially only provides you with 150 uses. Also, the potency comes back into play. Remember that you need to consume at least three grams of this fatty acid daily for worthwhile results. So, if one serving provides 1000 milligrams (which is quite common) then you would theoretically need to take at least three servings a day (and this is a minimum).
Yes, this is a byproduct of the capacity but it is also just as important.
Truth be told, this section is really a byproduct of the last section (the capacity). But, it is important in and of itself and deserves its own section. You may be thinking to yourself what the point of this section is as you can just assess the value by looking at the price, right? Well, it is not that simple even though the price is still one of the variables to keep in mind. The reality is one option may be initially cheaper but if it is not as potent or does not contain as many soft gels as another option, you could end up saving money in the long run by switching to the other option.
For the most part, most sellers tend to sell their largest bottles to have the best value. And, Amazon itself has a really neat feature that you can use to assess this. For most options listed on the online shopping website, there will be the base price and the price-per-soft gel listed in parentheses (which is typically between 1 to 20 cents).
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When it comes down to it, searching through various options on the market can be tricky as many of them resemble each other quite a bit. But, do not fret as there are ways to distinguish between them and one of the ways is via their potency. To determine this, you need to assess how much CLA you receive per serving. You do need to keep in mind, though, that either safflower or sunflower oil will account for some of it.
The good news is nearly all manufacturers who produce and sell dietary supplements such as this will be aiming to create the highest quality product that they can. And, there are many ways that they go about this. For starters, most will use facilities that are GMP certified. Also, they will tend to have third-party labs and sources to test their formulas for purity. Lastly, you may also see them test theirs for banned substances.
One of the benefits of consuming pills over powders or liquids is you all-but eliminate the nasty flavors that can persist. And, most of the top-end CLA supplements will come in soft gel form. Some of them will be insanely large, though, and considering you may want to take several servings a day, this can come into play. Also, do not forget about potential side effects as these can also be present.
Other Factors to Consider
Something else to look at upon arrival of your product is the expiry date. There does seem to be a big uncertainty about whether or not you should continue to consume vitamins and supplements after their expiry date. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but you should know the possible side effects.
For starters, many supplements can become less effective with time. Assuming that you would prefer your supplements to work at their full ability, you’ll want to check the date. Secondly, some expired supplements can cause severe stomach aches or headaches. Especially with a product like this, a fat that is stored in animal’s milk and muscle tissues, it is something that you will want to be fresh. We wouldn’t eat meat past its expiry date, and we shouldn’t consume this fat past its date either. For these reasons, it is highly important to check the date of packaging and expiration upon receiving your product.
As you may have noticed from all of the mixed reviews, these are not miracle pills. This is not a product that you can take every day while sitting on the couch and watching Shark Tank. This product will produce much greater results when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.
When taken properly, it has been shown to increase lean muscle mass and to work as a fat burner. For individuals who are already toned and have low body fat, studies did not show a noticeable difference. There are also studies that show that the effects of this product prove more noticeable after long-term use, about six-months. The moral of the story here is, is that this product will not provide you with results unless you work with it. If you are already eating healthily and exercising, you are on the right track and this will be a great addition.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: When should you take the pills?
For the record, yes, there are actually optimal times that you can consume this sort of fatty acid. One thing to avoid is to consume it with an empty stomach. The reason for this is it can be difficult for your liver to process fatty acid. So, the logical times would then either be during or before your meal. A lot of times, sellers will provide their recommendations on when you should take it. To get yourself into a good habit, it may not be a bad idea to do so with all three of your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
q: How is CLA produced in nature?
Due to the fact that the human body can’t produce CLA, you may be wondering where it comes from, in the first place. Well, it is actually produced naturally in grazing animals. You see, ruminants (such as cattle) have a unique enzyme in their digestive systems and this allows them to convert linoleic acid to the fatty acid that you crave. From there, the fatty acid is stored in the tissues and milk of said animals.
q: Are not all these supplements essentially the same thing?
This question was actually previously alluded to and, for the record, nothing is going to be reiterated in this section as we do not like wasting your time. Instead, let’s talk a little about the differences between safflower and sunflower oil. This has been glossed over until now but it certainly is important to keep in mind. Back in the day, sunflower oil was used religiously to create these types of supplements. As time has moved on, though, discoveries have been made and this is where safflower oil comes along. Because this oil produces more of the ingredient that actually aids in fat loss as opposed to sunflower oil, it is a better choice. Then again, it also tends to be more expensive so some manufacturers still do not use it.
q: Can you get the fatty acid from foods?
Okay, so let’s say that this guide has actually made you skeptical (or you were already skeptical going in). The good news for you is obtaining this fatty acid does not have to be done with supplements. In fact, it is actually present in many animal products. Some of the most common products are beef and milk (and many of you probably consume these on a weekly basis). Additionally, as you probably guessed, the fatty acid is also present in both sunflower and safflower oil.
q: Is fatty acid bad for your kidneys?
There is actually a study that was published on PubMed and it addresses this very issue right here. The effect that a high daily intake of this fatty acid would have on your liver and kidney function was studied and 20 subjects were received. Each of the subjects received strong doses of different types of CLA a day for three straight weeks. The study came to the conclusion that this amount of intake would not produce “clinically relevant” effects on either your liver or kidney functions. Then again, it is also worth noting that all the subjects tested were healthy and did not have persisting kidney or liver issues.
q: What are the risks?
Earlier, some of the potential side effects that can arise (such as nausea, burping, diarrhea, and fatigue) were documented. Taking this a step further, are there any risks that can be involved? The short answer is yes and this should not be surprising given the nature of dietary supplements. If you suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome, they could affect the way your body absorbs sugar. Also, they can worsen your insulin resistance and are not advised to be taken by pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding (as not enough evidence exists to deem it safe).