GNC Total Lean CLA Review

GNC Total Lean CLAThe GNC Total Lean line of products includes a number of widely used diet aids containing a variety of ingredients that promote weight loss, increase energy and help you build muscle. Total Lean CLA, as the name suggests, contains a chemical compound called conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. Unlike most of the other products in the Total Lean line, Total Lean CLA contains just the one active ingredient. It comes in a gel cap that is to be taken in doses of two capsules once or twice daily. Conjugated linoleic acid has been used for a number of years and GNC claims the product will both help you loose weight and increase energy.

Clinical Research

Conjugated linoleic acid is a complex fatty acid that occurs naturally in food like red meat. Your body uses these fatty acids to build lean muscle which can, in turn, help you loose weight. The official GNC site references an article on the well known website WebMD that talks about these qualities. In that WebMD article, the writer makes reference to a single study in which people were given 3.2 g of CLA for six months while the control group was given a placebo. Over that time the test group is said to have lost more weight than the control but the article does not specifically mention who conducted the study or the official results. It is clear that many of the complex nutrients found in the food we eat contribute to our weight management and overall health but more research would be needed to conclude that concentrated amounts of a single fatty acid like CLA is linked directly to weight loss.


Conjugated linoleic acid occurs naturally in many of the foods we eat everyday so it would stand to reason that it would be completely safe. While it has not been associated with any serious health risks, users have reported a high rate of gastro-intestinal issues associated with taking CLA as a supplement. You may experience common side effects like upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea.

In addition to the potential health risks, you have to remember you are taking a weight loss supplement that contains a single ingredient. If that ingredient is not as effective as you would like it to be you are not going to loose much weight. Even in the study cited on the WebMD site, the test subjects were given a dosage different than the recommended dosage of Total Lean CLA.

Final Thought

I’m a little torn in regards to this particular product. I have found that less tends to be more in the supplement world and sometimes it’s best to have a simple supplement than one that packs in a bunch of fillers that don’t do anything. On the other hand, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. It doesn’t really surprise me that concentrated amounts of CLA would cause gastro-intestinal issues. If you think about it, a 2000+ mg capsule of CLA gives you as much of the fatty acid in one sitting as you would consume naturally over several meals. All in all I think you might have good results with this product under certain circumstances but for weight loss you might be better served with a different product.

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Recent GNC Total Lean CLA User Comments

1 Review

  1. Patricia Youngblood
    December 2, 2010 @ 1:12 pm


    I had breast cancer last year and I am trying to find a weight lose pill that will work for me and not put me in harms way. Do you have any suggestion that I might could try. My doc told me no, no to Phenphedrine.
    I am excrciseing, I currently take CLA, Bromelain, Iron, Fish oil and a B6. I need something that will boost my weight lose.

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