This forum thread caught my attention, so I started doing some reading. I thought I would share what I've found so far:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid
From the article:Some studies of CLA in human diets show that it may reduce body fat, especially abdominal fat. A maximum reduction in body fat was achieved with a daily dose of 3.4g. However, some experts do not recommend taking CLA supplements. CLA supplements contain high levels of the t10,c12 CLA isomer, which has been linked to multiple side effects. Supplementation with this form of CLA has been shown to increase C-reactive protein levels, possibly to induce oxidative stress, to reduce insulin sensitivity, and to increase lipid peroxidation. In contrast, the cis-9, trans-11 CLA isomer, the primary form of CLA found naturally in beef and dairy products, has been shown to protect cells from oxidative damage by increasing glutathione levels without inducing lipid peroxidationhttp://thyroid.about.com/cs/dietweightloss/a/cla.htm
From the article:Dr. Michael Pariza, who conducted research on CLA with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported in August 2000 to the American Chemical Society that "It doesn't make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big." Pariza's research did not find weight loss in his group of 71 overweight people, but what he did find was that when the dieters stopped dieting, and gained back weight, those taking CLA "were more likely to gain muscle and not fat.''http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/weight-loss-etc/CLA-Tonalin-research.htm
Can't copy/paste from the article... sigh.
From what I've found, Tonalin(R) is the most common producer of CLA supplements and largely produce their CLA from safflower oil. I did a quick search on GNC and Vitamin Shoppe to see if I could find detailed specifications about the mixtures they use (hoping to find something to put the WIki article's c9,t11/t10,c12 information into context), but I didn't really find that much.
Honestly, I think my curiosity is peaked. I've always had a horrible time w/ my abdominal area, and I've read enough positive results on this to give it a shot. I'm going to keep reading; anyone else who finds good articles on it, please post.
Thanks for bringing this up, Hoodie!