The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    “American paradox,” but CLA supplements don’t help lose weight

    Earlier, I reported that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) produced a significant reduction in fat mass compared to placebo. I recommended caution however, before adding CLA supplements to you daily pill count.

    Here’s why.

    In this study, researchers measured body changes following CLA supplementation with a product called Tonalin (supplied by Cognis, a specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients company), which was taken for 12 weeks in 48 otherwise healthy obese people.

    Treatment groups were randomly assigned to treatment.

    • Placebo (8 grams safflower oil/day)
    • CLA 3.2 grams/day
    • CLA 6.4 grams/day

    And the results according to an article in

    • The high dose CLA group had an increase in lean body mass of 0.64 kg (a little less than 1.5 pounds).
    • However, there was no significant effect on body fat mass, weight, or body mass index.
    • Some markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein, and IL-6, and white blood cells) increased, although these values never exceeded normal limits.

    The bottom line?
    It’s unclear to me what value this product has if you don’t actually lose any weight. A Medscape review concluded, “Supplemental use of CLA produces minimal reductions, at best, in body weight.”

    The increase in C reactive protein is interesting. Many think high levels are a positive risk factor for heart disease. But since the values stayed within normal range, let’s not over interpret this finding.

    The researchers believe that more studies using varying doses of CLA over longer periods and in different patient populations might yield useful information.

    5/10/07 18:05 JR

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