Best CLA Supplements Ranked for 2018 – Top 10 Brands

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Jump Ahead to the Best CLA Products

Despite our best efforts, it’s often all-too-easy to fall into a less than ideal diet and exercise regimen and end up gaining some excess weight. Luckily, with a push in the right direction you can get back on track towards becoming a healthier person.

If you’re not happy with your current weight, you’re not alone. In America, more than 2/3rds of the population is overweight, while more than 1/3rd are obese. Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds, or completely change your lifestyle and body, there are certain things that can help you reach your goals faster.

Today, we’re here to talk about one of those helpful products: CLA supplements. CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a fatty acid that can help you lose weight faster. It’s not a miracle pill that will make you drop 10 pounds overnight, but it has been shown in clinical studies to offer impressive results. Let’s dive right in and learn about CLA dietary supplements and how they can help you!

What is CLA?

CLA, otherwise known as conjugated linoleic acid, is an omega-6 fatty acid. More specifically, CLA actually refers to a family of 28 different isomers of linoleic acid, which is the most common omega-6 fatty acid found naturally.

CLA is found naturally in things like grass-fed beef and dairy made from grass-fed cows. It’s also found in non grass-fed beef, but in much smaller amounts. In supplement form, the acid is often derived from vegetable oils, and closely mimics the effect of naturally produced CLA.

Many people take these supplements to take advantage of the CLA benefits. CLA supplements provide a wide range of benefits, which we will discuss in detail below. Primarily, CLA is used as a weight-loss supplement. CLA weight loss benefits include the ability to burn more calories while reducing food intake. The relationship between CLA and weight loss has been greatly studied.

Benefits of CLA

CLA has been studied greatly, both in its supplement form and in its natural sources. The results of these studies have been overwhelmingly positive.

As is usually the case, CLA found in foods is more effective than CLA in supplement form, but top CLA supplements can still provide a wide range of benefits. If you eat meat, you likely already get a decent amount of natural conjugated linoleic acid in your daily diet – but adding a supplement can still greatly boost the results you see.

Who May Benefit from CLA?

A wide range of people could benefit from CLA supplements. Conjugated linoleic acid provides so many benefits that it’s difficult to narrow it down to its “main” attributes. With that being said, these are the groups of people that will generally benefit the most from taking effective CLA supplements.

  • Those looking to lose weight – Perhaps the biggest benefit of good CLA pills is their ability to help with weight loss. Whether you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds or completely change your body, CLA can help. In clinical trials, CLA supplements have been shown to increase the metabolic rate, which helps to burn more calories. It can also help suppress appetite, making it easier to stick to your diet.
  • Fitness enthusiasts – Anyone who is interested in the world of fitness could benefit from top CLA supplements. CLA can help increase lean body mass while helping you shed weight. Combined with diet and exercise, these products can really make a huge difference in the results you see from your efforts. CLA can also help to break down stubborn fat, which may otherwise be difficult to get rid of.
  • Vegetarians and vegans – Vegetarians, vegans and others on restricted diets can greatly benefit from CLA pills. Most people get a decent quantity of conjugated linoleic acid in their daily diets, however the best sources are beef and dairy products. If you do not eat animal products, you will not be able to get adequate amounts of CLA in your diet naturally, so supplementation is necessary. And even if you DO eat meat, you’ll still want to consider adding a supplement if your goal is to lose weight.

As with anything, the benefits you experience with these supplements will vary depending on your body type, your diet, and several other factors. Not everyone will experience the same benefits, and those who consume a lot of beef and dairy products might not need to supplement at all.

Are There Any Side Effects?

As long as you take the recommended dose and no more, you shouldn’t experience any notable side effects from these supplements. With that being said, the potential for complications is always there. Taking too much of ANY supplement can be dangerous, so be sure you follow the dosage instructions – no matter what kind of supplement you’re taking.

While most people don’t experience CLA side effects, the following effects are common in those that do:

  • Stomach upset, including nausea and diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Again, side effects can become much more severe and potentially dangerous if you take too much of a given supplement. Always follow dosing instructions and speak to your doctor if you have concerns.

There is also some concern in the scientific community related to the production process involved in making CLA supplements. These supplements are manufacturer using potentially unhealthy vegetable oils. While naturally derived CLA found in foods is completely healthy, some studies have shown conflicting information when it comes to the types of manufactured conjugated linoleic acid found in supplement form.

For example, one study linked increased CLA supplementation with a rise in fat within the liver, a condition which may increase the risk of developing diabetes and other health issues. Another linked it to a rise in inflammation, a potential complication for people with metabolic syndrome.

To be fair, though, many of these studies with negative findings used very large doses of these supplements – much larger than the typical dose recommended by manufacturers and medical professionals. Many studies have also revealed much more positive results.

Bottom line, you shouldn’t experience many side effects as long as you take the recommended amount or less. If you’re concerned about the long-term risks of consuming CLA supplements, consider doing your own research and/or waiting to see the results of more credible studies.

How To Take CLA

As with any supplement or health product, it’s vitally important to know how and when to take CLA supplements. More importantly, it’s important to not take too much. There are some CLA side effects associated with excessive intake, which we’ll discuss in detail in the next section. For now, let’s learn more about dosing and how to take these supplements for the most substantial effect.

For the most part, you should simply follow the instructions on the label of the supplement you’re taking. It’s important to not take too much of ANY supplement, including CLA. Generally, these supplements will come in a single-capsule serving size, usually containing somewhere between 500-1000mg of CLA.

It’s also a good idea to consult with your doctor before you begin taking any new health supplements. While CLA is generally harmless (if taken as instructed), there are still some potential side effects to be aware of.

Lastly, you should take CLA at mealtime. It’s not recommended to take on an empty stomach and that can cause minor stomach discomfort in some people. Most supplements you can take 1-3 times per day, depending on the dosage amount. Again, check the label to see what the manufacturer recommends, and talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

What to Look for in a Good CLA Product

In order to find the right CLA supplement for you, it’s important to shop around. Like just about any type of supplement these days, there are a ton of options to choose from. We have already put together a list of the top 10 CLA supplements available on the market – but before we check that out, let’s learn more about what you should look for when shopping for the best option.

  • Amount of CLA – obviously, the first thing you should take a close look at is the actual quantity of conjugated linoleic acid in each capsule/serving. Now, keep in mind that it’s not possible to have pure CLA, so most products will say something like “contains 1250mg safflower oil, standardized to 80% CLA”. Most products will also list the amount of active CLA in each serving. In general, expect 800-1000mg per serving. When comparing prices of two different products, keep in mind the differing serving sizes/amounts of active ingredients.
  • Brand quality – if you buy one of the products listed above, you can rest assured you’re buying a good product from a good company. On the other hand, if you shop elsewhere you can not necessarily count on that to be true. Always buy from reputable companies, no matter what type of supplement you’re buying. If you shop elsewhere, be sure to read CLA reviews to determine quality before making a purchase.
  • Community feedback – again, if you choose to shop elsewhere and don’t buy a product listed below, we recommend that you at least read CLA supplement reviews on whatever retailer’s site you’re on. Amazon is a good resource with lots of customer reviews.
  • Value for money – as with anything, you’ll want to find a good product at a fair price. While you don’t necessarily want cheap CLA supplements, you’ll want to find an option that fits your budget and needs. Be sure to compare per serving prices, and not just compare the prices of the whole package.

Top 10 CLA Products Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. NatureWise CLA 1250, Highest Potency

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NatureWise CLA 1250 is the best CLA supplement available today. This best-selling product contains 1000mg of active CLA derived from natural, non-GMO sources. Using 100% pure, third-party certified ingredients, NatureWise has created an excellent supplement that was an easy choice to top our list of the top 10 CLA supplements.

Highlights:

  • 25g safflower oil (standardized to 80% CLA)
  • 1000mg active CLA
  • Derived from natural, non GMO ingredients
  • 100% pure
  • Stimulant free
  • Excellent ratings in CLA reviews
  • Excellent value for money
  • Great customer support team

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 25g non-GMO safflower oil, standardized to contain 80% CLA. Total CLA: 1000mg per serving.

Who makes it: This product is made by NatureWise, a large natural foods and supplement producer. With many years of industry experience, NatureWise is committed to maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry. Employing a team of professionals and fitness enthusiasts, NatureWise offers effective products, guaranteed quality, and a top-notch customer service team.

Bottom line: Overall, if you’re looking for one of the best CLA supplement available, this is it. There’s a reason this is the best-selling supplement of its type. Not only does NatureWise CLA 1250 offer top-quality ingredients, but it combines that with an affordable price and the backing of a very well-respected company, and it’s no surprise that this supplement tops our list of recommendations.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
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2. Sports Research – CLA 1250

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Sports Research CLA 1250 is a potent and effective CLA supplement containing 900mg of active CLA per serving, with a 100% vegan formula. Plus, with a 90-day money-back guarantee, you can rest assured in your choice when you go with this product!

Highlights:

  • 25g safflower oil (standardized to 80% CLA)
  • 900mg active CLA per serving
  • 100% vegan ingredients
  • Naturally derived
  • Stimulant free
  • Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Great value for money
  • Well rated in CLA reviews

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1250mg safflower oil, standardized to contain 80% CLA. Total CLA: 900mg per serving. This product also uses GMO-free ingredients, as well as vegan capsules to make this a 100% vegan CLA supplement.

Who makes it: This product is made by Sports Research, a company made famous by their introduction of the popular Sweet Sweat product. Today, Sports Research offers a wide range of useful supplements for their customers. With a focus on quality, consistency and customer satisfaction, Sports Research continues to excel in an industry crowded with many competing companies. This company is also known for offering money-back guarantees on all their products.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a powerful CLA supplement from a great company. Plus, the product is affordable and comes with a 90-day guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out for yourself!

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
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3. NOW Foods Cla 800mg

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NOW Foods CLA 800mg is a powerful CLA supplement made by one of the most trusted names in the health industry. With pure, non-GMO safflower oil and no fillers or additives, this is a simple and easy product. Plus, it’s made by NOW Foods, a company with a good reputation for quality.

Highlights:

  • 800mg active CLA per serving
  • Uses non-GMO safflower oil
  • No additives or fillers
  • Made by NOW Foods
  • Great value for money
  • Very affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg non-GMO safflower oil, standardized to 80% CLA. Total CLA: 800mg. NOW uses pure, non-GMO safflower oil to produce their high quality supplements.

Who makes it: This product is made by NOW Foods, one of the largest health foods and supplement manufacturers out there. In business for more than 45 years, NOW makes everything from frozen health foods to nutritional supplements. Since their founding in 1968, NOW has won countless awards, and is consistently ranked as one of the best supplement companies out there – as well as one of the best companies to work for! When you buy a NOW Foods product, you can trust that you’re getting a quality product.

Bottom line: Overall, NOW Foods is one of our favorite brands, and this product is one of our top recommendations. It’s an affordable, simple, pure, and non-GMO option.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
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4. Optimum Nutrition CLA 750mg

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Optimum Nutrition CLA contains 750mg of active CLA in each serving, it’s a bit on the lower end of the scale – but keep in mind that it’s also very affordable. And with the backing of a great company like Optimum Nutrition, you can trust that you’ll be getting a great product.

Highlights:

  • 750mg active CLA per serving
  • Made by Optimum Nutrition
  • Well reviewed online
  • Great value for money
  • Affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil standardized to contain 75% CLA. Total CLA: 750mg. While on the lower end of the scale in terms of CLA content per capsule.

Who makes it: This product is made by Optimum Nutrition, a massive supplement manufacturer based in Illinois. Founded in 1987, ON is best known for their popular Gold Standard line of fitness supplements like protein powder. Today, this award-winning company offers countless products for all types of customers. With more than a million fans on Facebook and one of the best track records in the industry, you can trust that ON makes fantastic products.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a great product from a legendary company. Optimum Nutrition is known for their “Gold Standard” product line, and in many cases they genuinely are the gold standard of the supplement industry. This product is very affordable, and though it contains less of the active ingredient than average, its per-serving cost is very low and its quality is very high!

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
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5. MRM CLA 1250 High Potency

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MRM CLA 1250 High Potency is a good CLA supplement containing 1000mg active CLA in each serving.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg active CLA per serving
  • Naturally derived
  • Affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1250mg safflower oil, standardized to contain 80% CLA. Total CLA: 1000mg per capsule.

Who makes it: This product is made by MRM, otherwise known as Metabolic Response Modifiers. This California-based supplement manufacturer produces a wide range of fitness products designed to help people lose weight and stay in shape. They focus on maintaining high quality standards while keeping prices low.

Bottom line: Overall, MRM CLA 1250 is a good product at a reasonable price. There’s nothing particularly unique or noteworthy about it, but it’s a good product that comes from a good brand, so it’s certainly a decent option.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
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6. Potent Organics – 100% Natural CLA

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Potent Organics 100% Natural CLA is a strong CLA supplement made with natural ingredients. Containing 780mg active CLA per serving, and no unnecessary fillers or additives. It also comes with a money-back guarantee. Lastly, this product is specifically formulated for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts!

Highlights:

  • 1000mg safflower oil (standardized to 78% CLA)
  • Contains 780mg active CLA per serving
  • Naturally derived
  • Formulated for bodybuilders
  • Made in the USA
  • No fillers or additives
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Good value for money

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil standardized to contain 78% CLA. Total CLA: 780mg.

Who makes it: This product is made by Potent Organics, a natural supplement company that is passionate about improving the health of their customers. By developing highly effective, healthy and pure products, Potent Organics maintains the highest quality standards possible while working to keep prices low. They are so confident in their products that they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee on all their offerings!

Bottom line: Overall, Potent Organics is a great company and this is a great product. It’s formulated specifically with bodybuilders in mind. It’s an affordable, high-quality choice, and we like that it’s backed by the 90-day guarantee – if you don’t see results, simply return the bottle for a full refund!

7. Weight Loss Development – CLA – Pure Natural Quality

Weight-Loss-Development---CLA---Pure-Natural-Quality

Weight Loss Development CLA is a powerful CLA fat burner product containing 800mg of CLA per serving. With a simple, pure formula and no fillers, this product gets to work fast, helping you reach your fitness goals.

Highlights:

  • 800mg active CLA per serving
  • Comes with a free bonus weight loss guide
  • Made in the USA

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil, standardized to 80% CLA. Total CLA: 800mg. 800mg per serving is a good amount.

Who makes it: This product is made by Weight Loss Development, a relatively new supplement manufacturer that is growing quickly. Founded by a group of nutritionists and personal trainers, Weight Loss Development was started in order to help people become healthier and reach their goals. Today, the company is dedicated to producing innovative and effective supplements for a wide range of customers, using only the highest quality ingredients possible.

Bottom line: Overall, Weight Loss Development CLA is a good CLA supplement. It contains a fairly standard 800mg dose, and is made from naturally derived ingredients. One unique thing is that it comes with access to a free weight loss eBook and a dedicated weight loss concierge service. It’s a bit more expensive than average, but still a great option.

8. BulkSupplements CLA Softgels

BulkSupplements-CLA-Softgels

BulkSupplements CLA Softgels are a simple, effective CLA supplement. At around 6 cents a piece, these are some of the cheapest CLA pills available, but they’re still very high quality. These clean & pure softgels contain no fillers, and are lab tested to maintain purity and quality standards.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg safflower oil per serving
  • Clean & pure – no fillers
  • Very affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1589mg CLA (serving size 2 capsules).

Who makes it: This product is made by BulkSupplements, a large supplier of clean & pure supplements. By focusing on ingredient quality over anything else, BulkSupplements is able to offer top quality products at rock-bottom prices. They package all their products in generic, simple packages to help cut down on costs and pass the savings on to you!

Bottom line: Overall, BulkSupplements is a good company and this is a good product. It’s a simple, straightforward and affordable option for those on a budget. With that being said, the serving size is two capsules, and the manufacturer recommends taking a serving 2-3 times per day – so keep that in mind when comparing costs of multiple products.

9. MusclePharm CLA 1000 Mg Softgel Capsules

MusclePharm-CLA-1000-Mg-Softgel-Capsules

MusclePharm CLA 100mg softgel capsules are top CLA pills made by MusclePharm, a company primarily known for their fitness supplements. Combining a blend of 3 different oils to deliver potent CLA benefits, this is a simple and affordable option.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg oil blend per serving
  • Affordable
  • Comes from a well respected brand
  • Good value

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg CLA Core blend, consisting of conjugated linoleic acids, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil. The only downside of this product is that it does not list the specific quantity of active CLA in each capsule.

Who makes it: This product is made by MusclePharm, one of the largest and fastest-growing sports supplement companies out there. Founded in 2008, MusclePharm’s popularity has exploded as they’ve continually released solid, effective products at reasonable prices. Best known for their line of protein powders and other fitness supplements, MusclePharm now offers a wide range of general supplements as well.

Bottom line: Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-take supplement, this is a decent option. We love MusclePharm products in general, but the only downside to this product is that it doesn’t actually list the quantity of CLA in each serving, instead using a blend of 3 different oils.

10. Nature’s Design – Pure CLA Supplement

Natures-Design-Pure-CLA-Supplement

Nature’s Design Pure CLA Supplement is a simple and effective supplement. Containing 780mg of active CLA in each softgel.

Highlights:

  • 780mg CLA per capsule
  • No fillers, binders or additives
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Well reviewed online
  • Good value for money

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg safflower seed oil standardized to contain 78% CLA. Total CLA: 780mg.

Who makes it: This product is made by Nature’s Design, a Texas-based supplement manufacturer. While they produce a wide range of products, Nature’s Design focuses on developing effective weight-loss supplements to help their customers get in shape. They offer a money-back guarantee on most of their products.

Bottom line: Overall, Nature’s Design CLA is a good product. It’s a bit more expensive than average, but it provides a solid dose of pure conjugated linoleic acid. It’s also backed by a money-back guarantee.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read about conjugated linoleic acid and seen our list of the top 10 CLA supplements, it’s time to make a purchase! We truly believe that any product on this list would be a great choice – it’s just a matter of choosing the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Lastly, we encourage you to bookmark this page and check back later. That way, you can stay up to date with all the latest developments in the supplement world. We regularly update our guides to ensure they’re as accurate and helpful as possible. Bookmark today and check back later!

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Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and researched based information to his readers. You can find more of Austin's work at Olympic-Creative.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.