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Weight-loss supplement shows good and bad traits

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Supplements and weight loss

A supplement some people turn to in hopes of losing a few pounds may have some previously unknown, unsavory side effects, suggest two new studies.

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Researchers studied how mice and rats responded to the supplement conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an essential amino acid found in trace amounts primarily in beef, lamb and milk. Synthetic forms of CLA are marketed as supplements that help reduce body fat, and some manufacturers also tout CLA for reducing the risk of diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The mice and rats responded in very different ways to CLA, said Martha Belury, the lead author of both studies and an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University.

Mice fed a CLA-supplemented diet lost weight very fast, but also accumulated excessive amounts of fat in their livers

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