Thursday, May 21, 2009

Again With The Supplements

A co-worker today mentioned that he was on a new program recommended by a friend and fellow co-worker, who is cut and looks great. This friend attributes his physique to proper training and a few simple supplements.

Supplement number one: the all-mighty protein shake.

The second supplement he mentioned was new to me: CLA 55.

He told me it was found in dairy products. My first thought was, "Why supplement. Why not just add more dairy to your diet?"

Being my curious self, and needing to know all things fitness, I did some research on CLA supplementation.

CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid, which normally is found in dairy products. CLA aids in weight loss and increases muscle mass.

Since we have started feeding cattle scientifically instead of naturally, the amount of CLA in the dairy we consume has dropped by 60 percent — so supplementing in this case might make sense. So far, so good, right?

Then why not supplement with this new kicking product?

Some studies show that the manufactured supplement may not be as good as the real thing. (What a surprise.) There are possible side effects reported with supplementing with CLA, including:
  • high blood sugar (CLA may make your body more resistant to insulin)
  • low HDL levels
  • allergic reactions (hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing)
  • loose stools
  • indigestion
  • heartburn

This research supports David's Golden Rule: never take a supplement on someone's say-so, no matter how much you trust that person. What works for one person may not work for another, and the supplement may, in fact, be dangerous to you. Always check with your physician first.

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