Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Conjugated Linoleic Acid: A Helpful Supplement for Vegans

Being a vegan certainly isn’t easy. Just ask Bob Harper, veteran trainer from The Biggest Loser. Bob himself follows a vegan diet, and with his contestants often discovering they have obesity related diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol, it’s not hard to see why Bob pushes a diet that eliminates red meat, eggs and dairy.

The first concern that comes to my mind when I think of a vegan diet, however, is where the protein and calcium will come from. The substitutes for protein in meat, eggs and dairy in a vegan diet can come from legumes, nuts and beans. The calcium that normally could be obtained from milk and cheese would require a calcium and vitamin D supplement, but what about your conjugated linoleic acid?

Never heard of it? Most haven’t, but it is an important concern if you go vegan. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, are a group of fatty acids that are found in dairy products and red meat. Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that our body can not make on its own, so supplementation for vegans is essential.

CLA is believed to have cancer protecting properties particularly in colon and rectal cancer. CLA  is also believed to reduce body fat deposits and increase lean muscle mass but, oddly enough, does not seem to affect body weight. A typical dosage of CLA is between 1.8 to 7 grams per day, but there appears to be no additional benefit of taking the supplement more than 3.4 grams per day. Side effects of CLA include diarrhea, nausea, and tiredness.

Pregnant women and diabetics are advised to avoid supplemental CLA as it is not proven safe in those expecting, and it may raise blood sugar in diabetics. CLA is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent plaque from filling your arteries.

Becoming a vegan is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Vegans-to-be need to educate themselves on what nutrients they may be missing by following their new eating plan and taking supplements to fill any gaps. A vegan lifestyle can be difficult to live by, but with the help of supplements vegans can focus on getting the most out of their food without sacrificing their ideals.

Also Read:

12 Dietary Iron Sources for Vegans

Going Vegan? 5 Ways to Transition to a Plant-Based Diet

Bob Harper’s Vegan Recipes from Biggest Loser

October 4th, 2011

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 1 total comments)

Stuart Reb Donald

The vegan diet is not healthy. The proteins necessary for the human body to perform at peek efficiency only come from animal sources. One of the leading gastrointestinal surgeons in the country, Dr. Terry Simpson, says, ‚??If you want to be a vegan for health, there is no data to support that. In fact, vegans have a life expectancy that is less than pescetarians (fish eaters) and omnivores.‚?Ě

The author of the (formerly) vegan blog Voracious described herself as a, ‚??hardcore, self-righteous and oh so judgmental vegangelical‚?Ě for years until her doctor informed here that her many ailments were the result of eating a vegan diet. She chronicles her return to an omnivore‚??s diet in her popular article Vegan No More. Her revelation that veganism was hurting her health has actually earned her death threats from all of those ‚??ethical‚?Ě vegans. It is why she now goes under the nom de plume Tasha.

For the experiment testing the health risks of veganism, independent health researcher Matt Stone converted to the vegan lifestyle and documented the excessive weight gain, poor skin and multiple other negative changes that assaulted his body.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 8:38 pm


Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:

Or, proceed without an account