Healthy fats are a critical part of a healthy diet. They not only provide the fuel for your brain needs, but they aid in weight loss. And they can reduce inflammation provide joint support, and so much more!

But what type of fatty acids should you be getting? With so many supplements on the market, it can be tough to know which the best options are. Below, we’ve done a comparison of the two most popular fatty acid supplements—CLA and fish oil—to help you know which is right for you.

CLA vs. Fish Oil: What Are They?

CLA stands for “conjugated linoleic acid”. It is a fatty acid very similar to Omega-6.  One of the two types of essential fatty acids that play a role in your metabolism, immune function, and cholesterol levels.

Most people take CLA as a weight loss supplement. Thanks to the fact that it’s believed to enhance muscular performance, reduce body fat, and improve muscle tone.

Fish oil supplements are pretty much exactly what they sound like. It is a supplement made using oil extracted from 

CLA vs Fish Oil

fish like salmon or cod. The fish oil is incredibly rich in Omega-3, another critical fatty acid that is needed to combat inflammation, nourish your brain, and boost your mood.

Fish oil is typically an anti-inflammatory supplement taken to improve joint health. But recent studies have indicated that it can offer a lot more important benefits. It has quickly become one of the most popular of the health supplements today!

CLA Benefits

As one of the vital fatty acids, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA, from now on) is crucial for a number of internal functions. Mainly, its benefits revolve around exercise performance.

As a recent research show, CLA has the ability to preserve muscle mass, preventing it from being broken down by age, muscle-wasting, or exercise (source). It can reduce the catabolic effect of weight training on your muscles, helping to enhance muscle growth significantly. 

But that’s not all it can do!

CLA vs Fish Oil

CLA can also help to increase body fat burning. It’s one of the many metabolism-boosting supplements you can take to enhance calorie-burning on a daily basis. It can also enhance exercise endurance, so you can train harder for longer and thereby burn more calories.

Some of the other benefits of CLA include:

  • Lower the risk of cancer diseases, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the fatty acid (source)
  • Decreased cardiovascular disease risk, as the essential fatty acid helps to prevent fat buildup in the blood vessels (source)
  • Lessen the risk of diabetes, thanks to the metabolism-boosting effects of the supplement (source)

As you can see, CLA is a supplement with a lot to offer!

Fish Oil Benefits

This fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that has quickly risen to prominence as a “superfood”. Studies shows that Omega-3 fatty acids play a number of vital roles in maintaining and improving your health:

  1. Decreasing inflammation. Thanks to its ability to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Omega-3 is believed to be vital for reducing cancer risk, chronic disease, joint pain, and cardiovascular disease (source)
  2. Better brain health. Omega-3 provides the brain with the fatty acids required to not only reduce inflammation in the brain. But also produce new brain tissue and protect existing brain cells. It also plays a role in the production of the neuro-chemicals responsible for your mood.
  3. Reducing depression. Your brain needs fatty acids to produce the mood-boosting hormones that regulate your emotional state (source).
CLA vs Fish Oil

Research has proven that Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce the risk of depression, prevent anxiety and stress, and raise your mood.

4. Improving cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood pressure. They can also prevent the buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides, and reduce your body’s inflammatory response to excess cholesterol levels. All of these things combine to drastically improve your cardiovascular health. And decrease your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and arterial disease.

Other health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Reduced menstrual pain (source)
  • Easier weight loss (source)
  • Reduced risk of dry eyes and cataracts, healthier eyes (source)
  • Improved immune function and resistance to disease (source)
  • Less joint pain (source)

As you can see, fish oil is a truly amazing supplement thanks to its high Omega-3 content!

Which is Right For You?

The answer is simple: What’s your end goal?

  • If your goal is to lose weight and get in shape, go with CLA. As you’ve seen above, CLA can help to enhance your exercise, aid in muscular performance, and speed up your metabolism. You’ll find it’s much easier to drop pounds thanks to CLA, as it will protect muscle mass as you diet, run, and lift weights. Plus, there’s the calorie-burning- boost that you get thanks to the supplement. All in all, CLA is the much better choice if your goal is to get in shape.
  • If your goal is to be healthier overall, go with fish oil. Fish oil isn’t intended to boost weight loss, though it can enhance your body’s ability to utilize nutrients. However, it’s highly effective for boosting your immune function, keeping your brain working well, raising your mood, combating anxiety and depression, and preventing inflammation-related pain. Plus, there’s the heart-boosting benefit that will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. All in all, it’s the far better choice for your overall wellness.

Disclaimer: If you’re considering taking a supplement like CLA or Omega-3 fatty acids, make sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider first. While these supplements are intended to improve your health, they may come with negative medication interactions or certain side effects for your specific case. Ask a doctor to be sure they’re the right choice for you!

In the end, both supplements offer amazing health benefits, and they can both improve your life in a number of ways. If you want to be healthier, you’d do well to consider both fish oil and CLA as an addition to your daily wellness routine. A little bit of nutrition improvement can go a LONG way toward a healthier life!