“American paradox.” Or, how I stopped dieting and lost weight

“Some scientists believe that in our quest to lose weight, we are not eating enough fat, or at least not the right kind of fat. What’s missing from our diet,” according to a article, “is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is found in red meat, lamb, and dairy products.

Now, a reanalysis of the literature supports this point of view.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison reviewed 18 studies of CLA.

  • “A dose of 3.2 grams of CLA per day produced a significant reduction in fat mass compared to placebo.”
  • The effect of CLA on body composition was linear for up to 6 months, and slowly leveled out by 2 years

The bottom line?
The prevalence of obesity despite the lower fat intake has been called “the American paradox.”

  • It’s attributed partly to the failure of reducing dietary fat in order to lose weight.
  • Also, dieting results in eating too many low-fat products, which, despite their reduced fat content, maintain a high level of refined carbohydrates.

Resist the temptation to add one more pill (CLA) to your daily supplements. It’s not a substitute for exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. More info is here.

5/10/07 16:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.