CLA Benefits from Grass-Fed Beef for Weight-Loss

Most of us have heard of the familiar saying “You are what you eat.”  Have you ever heard of the saying, “you are what your animal products eat?” The truth is, the way our food is nourished while be grown or raised and eventually harvested matters a great deal.  A simple example is with grass-fed beef and how it can differ not only in taste and texture when compared to conventionally-raised, grain-fed beef, but also in the level of many nutrients.

Grass-fed and grass-finished beef come from cattle that have been allowed to consume a more natural, nutritious and healthier diet consisting of grasses which provide higher levels of many nutrients, including omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E, minerals, B-vitamins, and a particular group of omega 6 fatty acids termed as conjugated linoleic acids (also known as CLA).

CLA, which is found to be four to five times higher in the content level of grass-fed beef as compared to grain-fed beef, has come into the spotlight recently for its reported health benefits.   Studies have shown CLA has the ability to facilitate weight loss not only through reducing the deposition of fatty acids into existing fat tissue, but also by stimulating thermogenesis (the burning of fatty acids for energy).  There is also evidence showing that the supplementation of CLA (at around 3-4 g/day for a period of around twelve weeks) can help lower body fat percentage in exercising individuals through reducing the breakdown of lean muscle tissue (thereby, more efficiently supporting an increase of lean muscle tissue) and elevating the body’s basal metabolic rate (metabolism).

Besides helping to protect against obesity, studies have shown a correlation between CLA and the prevention or inhibition of certain types of cancer (including Breast, Colon, Prostate and Lung cancer) and the use of CLA in the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.

Daley, et. al. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:10

Descalzo, A.M., E.M. Insani, A. Biolatto, A.M. Sancho, P.T. Garcia, N.A. Pensel, and J.A. Josifovich. 2005. Influence of pasture or grain-based diets supplemented with vitaminE on antioxidant/oxidative balance of Argentine beef. Journal of Meat Science 70:35-44

Blankson, H., et al.  Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans.  Journal of Nutrition.  130:2943-2948, 2000.

 Hubbard, N. E., et al.  Effect of separate conjugated linoleic acid isomers on murine mammary tumorigenesis.  Cancer Letters.  190(1):13-19, 2003.

 Cunningham, D. C., et al.  Proliferative responses of normal human mammary and MCF-7 breast cancer cells to linoleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, and eicosanoid synthesis inhibitors in culture.  Anticancer Research.  17:197-203, 1997.

 Cho, H. J., et al.  Conjugated linoleic acid inhibits cell proliferation and ErbB3 signaling in the HT-29 human colon cell line.  Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol.  284(6):G996-1005, 2003.

 Houseknecht, K. L., et al.  Dietary conjugated linoleic acid normalizes impaired glucose tolerance in the Zucker diabetic fatty fa/fa rat.  Biochem Res Commun.  244(3):678-682, 1998.

 Ferreira, M., et al.  Effects of CLA supplementation during resistance training on body composition and strength.  NSCA Conference and Exhibition Program.  Page 168, 1997.

 

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