Colon Cancer Home > Tonalin CLA Side Effects

Although obtaining CLA through dietary means is unlikely to cause significant problems, taking this substance in dietary supplements (such as with Tonalin CLA) may cause some negative reactions. Some possible Tonalin CLA side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. The supplement may also cause potentially serious problems, such as high blood sugar levels, low HDL cholesterol, and allergic reactions.

Does Tonalin CLA Cause Side Effects?

Tonalin® CLA is a dietary supplement that contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which occurs naturally in dairy products and certain meats. Tonalin CLA, however, is made from safflower oil. While CLA obtained through dietary means is unlikely to cause significant side effects, Tonalin CLA could cause problems, some of which may be serious.
There are different forms of CLA, known as isomers, and synthetic CLA usually has more of the isomer that seems to be responsible for some of the negative side effects, compared to naturally occurring CLA found in dairy and meat.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Tonalin CLA. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Tonalin CLA side effects with you.)

Serious Side Effects of Tonalin CLA

Some side effects with Tonalin CLA should be reported to your healthcare provider and might indicate you should stop taking the supplement. These include but are not limited to:
  • High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), as one of the isomers in Tonalin CLA might make your body more resistant to insulin
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol")
  • High C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory protein that can be a sign of problems
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
It should be noted that most of these serious Tonalin CLA side effects have been attributed to one particular isomer of CLA. Because the supplement contains a mixture of isomers, it is not clear if Tonalin CLA also carries such risks.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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