CLA and Maintaining Muscle

CLA and Maintaining Muscle

When considering the topic of weight loss, the issue of maintaining muscle gains comes to mind. Although CLA has been extensively studied for its anti-adipose tissue effects, you should take the time to think about its potential implications for building muscle tissue. Let's take a look at what research has been conducted on CLA and what it means for muscle gains.

Testosterone, Muscle Maintenance, and Fat. Are CLA And Muscle Growth Connected?

Testosterone medications may be taken for a variety of reasons. As the primary male hormone, testosterone is responsible for the growth and production of mitochondria in muscle cells. Insufficient serum levels of testosterone have been linked to erectile dysfunction, impotence, atrophy of the muscles, and many other physical ailments.

In a study on the absorption rates of testosterone for the treatment of low testosterone, evidence suggests essential fatty acid levels in the blood serum were insufficient to promote the absorption of testosterone from the cardiovascular system. Although this seems unrelated to CLA supplements, oral testosterone medications are taken by mouth.

When digested, the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the medication makes its way throughout the body, a low level of fatty acids in the serum of the blood seems to prevent the adequate absorption of testosterone throughout the body cells.

Physical Performance, CLA, and Muscle Mass

An analysis of whether CLA is able to increase muscle mass must focus on determining the physical performance of participants in a given study prior to the study. In the publication, Do Fat Supplements Increase Physical Performance, researchers sought to uncover the answers.

Participants in this study were athletes who consumed a relatively low diet of fatty acids, albeit many of the fats that were consumed were healthy fats, such as Omega 3s from fish. The participants in the study did not seem to have increased levels of testosterone as expected for the given group. As a result, researchers gave participants in the study a dietary supplement of conjugated linoleic acid over a period of 12 weeks.

For those in the study, the CLA supplementation seemed to result in an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in body fat mass. However, all participants continued their regular exercise regimens, and testosterone levels were continually measured.

CLA and Testosterone Synthesis

Surprisingly, researchers found the treatment seemed to increase the biogenesis of testosterone. As a result, the testosterone acted upon contractile protein synthesis in skeletal muscle fibers, which helps to build new fibers in the muscle. Although these preliminary results seem promising, care must be taken to understand how the participants in the study may have fared if they have been on an ordinary, non-healthy diet.

In the study, participants were rarely ingesting fatty acids as part of their diets. Unfortunately, researchers were unable to determine if the change in testosterone absorption is the result of CLA supplementation or simply the result of adding a fatty acid to the diet.

Understanding how testosterone affects muscle mass is crucial to understanding the potential implications of CLA on maintaining muscle tissue. Some evidence suggests supplementation may help to improve absorption of testosterone by body and muscle cells. However, further evidence is needed to definitively connect all cases of poor muscle growth to a lack of CLA supplementation.

If you have experienced trouble with muscle growth, a CLA supplement may be a potential solution to your problem.