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CLA and Pyruvate: Shredding-supplement superstars?

Conjugated linoleic acid has gained notoriety as an unsaturated fatty acid that encourages fat loss by decreasing the amount of fat stored in fat cells, shrinking their size, raising the metabolic rate while stimulating the development of lean muscle.

Recently, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found dramatic changes in fat  burning and a drastic reduction in the percentage of energy expenditure from protein—essentially catabolism—by individuals who supplemented CLA at bedtime vs. those not using CLA.  Data from this study conclusively showed that CLA positively increases fat burning and reduces protein breakdown that occurs during sleep.

Close, R.N., et al., (2007). Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation alters the six-month change in fat oxidation during sleep. Am J Clin Nutr. 86(3):797-804.


Pyruvate is well-known for its ability to boost energy via heightened glucose extraction. It also spares glycogen, thus extending endurance and improving performance. In addition, new data shows that pyruvate can actually prevent the formation of fat.

While many fat-burning products can increase the breakdown of fat, which is known as lipolysis, they don’t help dispose of the fat. So in many cases the fat reverts to its original form, bodyfat.

In studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, researchers reported that pyruvate not only enhances the oxidation of fat but also prevents its formation.


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