Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that comes in two forms: emphysema, which inflicts damage to the lungs over time; and chronic bronchitis, a form of a long-term cough with mucus.

COPD is the most prevalent type of respiratory disease today and one of the leading causes of death in the world. In fact, long-term smokers are the most at risk for this. COPD is characterized by irreversible and progressive damage to the lungs.

Last month, a new study emerged that supplementing with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can fight oxidative damage and lower matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) types 2 and 9 in patients with COPD.

Now, CLA is more popularly known as an effective weight loss and weight management supplement for its ability to decrease body fat while simultaneously increasing muscle tissue.

READ: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Can You Fight Fat with Fat?

A study from the University of Chicago’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine also reviewed studies on CLA and noted that most of the added benefits of CLA were lower the risk of breast cancer for women.

READ: This Is What You Need CLA Supplements For

Now, oxidative stress comes from an overabundance of free radicals in the body. Free radicals attack the immune and biological system of the body, causing more inflammation and making it difficult for the body to reverse and repair their damaging effects on its own.

For COPD patients, the strain of oxidative stress only aggravates the inflammation in the lungs and airway, prevents the breakdown of proteins that the body needs to function properly, and makes the body resistant to glucocorticoid, which is a chemical in the body that stops inflammation.

Basically, an increase in oxidative stress means more inflammation that the body can’t fight. For patients with COPD, this also means higher levels of MMPs.

Normally, MMP 9 is present among healthy humans at low levels. Too much of it is cause for severe pulmonary diseases like asthma, cystic fibrosis, primary pulmonary fibrosis, and COPD. High levels of MMP 2 are often seen in patients with COPD and asthma.

READ: 7 Supplements for Asthma Relief

Increasing research is being done to support several claims that MMPs kept at low and healthy levels in the body have great potential for reconstructing damaged alveoli.

Antioxidants, on the other hand, are amazing at fighting free radicals. Since increasing bodies of research have supported that antioxidants can fight inflammation, more and more treatments are working to include antioxidants in the process.

Safflower oil, from which conjugated linoleic acid is derived, is high in antioxidant content.

READ: Glutathione: The Mother of Antioxidants

READ: Here Are The Best Food Sources of Glutathione

In the most recent study published on Dove Medical Press, 90 patients with COPD were divided into two groups – a supplement group who received 3.2 grams of CLA softgels standardized at 80%, and another group who were given the same amount of placebo.

The double-blind study went on for six weeks and found that levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker for oxidative stress, decreased significantly. Additionally, levels of MMP 9 decreased significantly, but MMP 2 serum levels were more or less the same between the two groups.

The study concluded that CLA supplementation can greatly benefit COPD patients by deriving antioxidants from conjugated linoleic acid to fight oxidative stress and control levels of MMP 9.

Interested in trying out CLA for weight loss, or maybe for safflower antioxidant content? Naturalmuch partners with different health supplement brands to give you the best quality of CLA supplements and other weight loss, wellness, and workout supplements at the best deals. You can choose any product on the site and get it for a $20 rebate or a buy 1, take 2 free deal.

You can try Northfield Health’s Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or Nexus Nature’s CLA softgels, both standardized to 80%. However, if you’re looking to start out with trying linoleic acid to supplement what already works for you, try CLA by Biosense Natural Vitamins.