Why Does CLA Cause an Increase in Lean Skeletal Muscle Mass and a Decrease in Stored Body Fat?

Grassfed Beef and Dairy are Excellent Sources of CLA

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes. My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Upon posting the article on ‘CLA + Trans-Fat’, I received a few inquiries about how CLA causes an increase in lean skeletal muscle tissue, and decrease in stored body fat. In order to understand the process involved, we first need to examine the process involved in gaining lean skeletal muscle mass and the process involved in accumulating body fat.

How Do We Gain Lean Muscle Mass?

Every muscle cell has a protein-transporter which exists in a dormant cell in the center of the cell. This protein-transporter is known as ‘Glucose Transporter 4’ or simply ‘GLUT4’.

GLUT4 becomes activated in muscle cells when the cells experience tension and vibration, such as that which occurs during strength-training.

When GLUT4 is activated, it comes to the cell’s surface and takes in glucose. The muscle cell uses this glucose to fuel and repair muscle tissue, resulting in an increase in lean muscle mass.

How Do We Accumulate Body Fat?

Much like muscle cells, every fat cell in the body also contains a dormant protein-transporter known as GLUT4.

GLUT4 becomes activated in fat cells when they experience an increase in insulin, most commonly occurring when we eat.

When we take in nutrients, some of those nutrients are converted into glucose, resulting in increased blood sugar levels. In response, our bodies begin to produce insulin. This insulin travels through our blood stream, activating the GLUT4 within our fat cells.

When the GLUT4 is activated, it comes to the cell’s surface and takes in glucose, resulting in an increase in the size of our fat cells.

How does CLA Effect the Growth of Muscle + Fat Cells?

Studies clearly show that CLA causes an increase in lean skeletal muscle tissue and a decrease in stored body fat. What causes this?

When we eat a food that contains CLA, our muscle cells experience an increased concentration of GLUT4. Conversely, our fat cells experience a decreased concentration of GLUT4. This change in concentration allows our muscle cells to take in more glucose to fuel and repair muscle tissue, while forcing our fat cells to taking in less glucose after eating. The result? Increased growth in muscle tissue, decreased growth in fat tissue.

And that’s why we can enjoy foods like grass-fed whipped cream, grass-fed cheeses and grass-fed butter without worrying about gaining body fat!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

We would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think.