R&D: Science-supported CLA Efficacy -- January 2009
by Kerry Hughes

With increased interest in natural and organic foods, the many benefits of pasture-fed beef and dairy products have come to light. (The use of pasture for dairy cattle is a requirement for organic production.) Many research studies show improved fatty acids profiles in the meat and milk of pasture-fed animals. For example, a recent study showed that milk from cows on a pasture-based diet had a greater percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, including two forms of the beneficial fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), compared to milk from cows on a conventional total mixed ration diet (Croissant, AE, et al. 2007. J Dairy Sci. 2007 90:4942-53).

CLA is associated with a number of health benefits. There is evidence that it is one of the most potent defenses against inflammation. A number of studies support its ability to reduce body fat and help with management of body composition. A 2007 meta-analysis of clinical studies on CLA found that it could enhance overall health by effectively reducing body fat and potentially preventing weight and fat regain commonly experienced by adults, especially yo-yo dieters (Whigham, LD, et al. 2007. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 85:1203-11). The study also found that 15 of the 18 clinical trials used in the meta-analysis were conducted with a branded product, Tonalin® CLA, from Cognis Nutrition & Health.

With the recent positive “no questions” response from the FDA on the GRAS notification of Cognis’ Tonalin CLA, food manufacturers can now feel free to supplement diets with CLA through expanded applications in foods, such as milk and flavored milk products, yogurt products, fruit juice products, soy milk beverages, meal replacement beverages and bars, coffee creamers and chocolate. Tonalin is available in several product forms--oil, water-dispersible powder and emulsions--that lend ease for formulation and processing in this wide portfolio of applications.

“Tonalin could help revolutionize the way people reduce body fat,” said David Eckert, vice president, Cognis Nutrition & Health. “Our goal is to support our customers, as they help consumers achieve their body composition goals with delicious, yet healthy, foods and beverages.”

Tonalin CLA is produced through a proprietary process that converts linoleic acid from natural safflower oil into CLA, providing the highest quality CLA available (with a very high level of purity). Cognis reports Tonalin to have the lowest amount of non-naturally occurring isomers, which is a signature of its very high levels of active CLA isomers. Additionally, Cognis has solidly supported this ingredient with clinical research, including one study, by Jean-Michel Gaullier, Ph.D., that was included by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplement’s Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research (2004) (Gaullier, J-M, et al. 2005. J. Nutr.135:778-784). Cognis was also awarded the 2007 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Brand Development Strategy Leadership in the CLA market, stating, “More studies on CLA and body composition have been published using Tonalin than any other CLA brand.”  
-- Kerry Hughes, Technical Field Editor

For more information:
Cognis Nutrition & Health • LaGrange, Ill.
Sharrann Simmons • 708-579-6204
www.tonalin.com, www.cognis.com