January 19, 2017
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Review
With GNC Total Lean CLA PM, you can potentially achieve two outcomes: lose weight and sleep better.
CLA is said to improve body composition and lean muscle tone. And other ingredients in CLA PM contribute to nighttime metabolism support and a restful sleep.
Can GNC Total Lean CLA PM really support a healthy metabolism both day and night?
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Ingredients
Let’s examine the ingredients to see if they can really make a difference.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – 3.40 g. CLA’s benefits include increasing metabolic rate, decreasing abdominal fat, lowering cholesterol, and enhancing muscle growth. Because it encourages lean body mass, CLA may help you burn more calories while at rest. One study found that 4 weeks of CLA supplementation decreases abdominal fat in obese men. 
WebMD.com says that most CLA research suggests a dose between 0.7 and 4.5 g, so CLA PM fits within this recommendation. However, it also points out that studies are mixed regarding CLA’s effects, and it can also cause upset stomach and nausea.
Rest and Relaxation Complex
Valerian Root Extract – 100 mg. In sixteen insomnia patients, valerian increased sleep efficiency, sleep structure, and positive sleep perception.  Valerian has treated anxiety for more than 2000 years and proves an effective sedative in studies.
Be aware that it becomes more potent over time, and that taking it with sleeping medications or alcohol can be dangerous. It may cause stomach upset, headache, or morning grogginess. 
L-Theanine – 50 mg. This amino acid from tea increases GABA, a brain inhibitory transmitter, and as a result may reduce stress, improve cognition, and boost mood. One study found that boys with ADHD who took theanine improved sleep percentage time and sleep efficiency. 
Lemon Balm Leaves Extract – 50 mg. According to WebMD.com, this herb is taken to treat both digestive problems and anxiety. It exerts a calming effect and thus improves sleep quality. In fact, one study found that a valerian/lemon balm combination improved sleep quality in people with minor sleep disorders.  But lemon balm could cause nausea, dizziness, and wheezing.
Hops Flower Extract – 50 mg. The hops flower has a relaxing effect and is used in herbal medicine to treat anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. In one study, a combination of valerian and hops reduced sleep latency, while valerian by itself made no impact. 
Passion Flower Herb Powder – 50 mg. This> This plant treats insomnia along with gastrointestinal upset due to anxiety. It promotes calmness and relaxation, and may improve feelings of sleep quality. But it could cause dizziness, confusion, altered consciousness, and irregular muscle action. 
Restore and Recover Complex
Gelatin – 50 mg. Gelatin is a protein made from animal products. It strengthens bones and joints and improves exercise recovery. And, it may assist weight loss by improving satiety; in one study, a breakfast containing gelatin lowered food intake at lunch.  Gelatin may cause bloating, heartburn, and allergic reactions.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – 10 mg. This organosulfur compound has all kinds of purported functions, including treating metabolic syndrome. In fact, in one study, rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet combined with alpha lipoic acid lost weight.  But it may cause headache, skin rash, muscle cramps, or a tingling sensation.
L-Methionine – 10 mg. Methionine is an amino acid that forms proteins necessary for tissues, organs, and cells. With inositol and choline, it helps the liver change fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble waste. 
Silica – 4 mg. This chemical compound exists in connective tissues and is thought to promote healthy blood vessel walls. It’s probably included here to aid powder flow in capsules. But long-term use may result in loss of essential vitamins like thiamine. It could also cause dehydration and kidney deterioration. 
Horsetail Rush Stems Extract – 3 mg. Horsetail has both diuretic and bone-building properties. Horsetail contains silica, and thus may contribute to the side effects of excess silica. 
Boron – 2 mg. According to some, boron raises testosterone and muscle building, but this was disproved in studies.  It can be toxic in high doses.
Lutein – 950 mcg. Lutein is obtained through fruits and vegetables. It improves eye health, including lowering risk of cataracts. Many multivitamins contain lutein; its inclusion in CLA PM may support overall health, but not weight loss or sleep. 
GNC Total Lean CLA PM User Reviews
CLA PM is not widely reviewed, but here’s what a few users had to say about GNC Total Lean CLA, a similar product for daytime use:
• “I chose this product based on the fact I wanted something on the more natural side of things to aid in weight loss. I feel that in addition to my gym use and diet it has helped me tone up. The unexpected result of taking CLA is that my knees and feet, which both have arthritis, haven’t been bothering me as much.” (Jamie; Amazon.com)
• “I took GNC Total Lean as suggested on the package, went to the gym and after about a hour of strenuous workout started getting light headed. The next day I reduced the number of capsules in half and it was only about thirty minutes on the treadmill before I actually started shaking.” (Charles Spratt; Amazon.com)
Taking GNC Total Lean CLA PM
The instructions are simply to take four softgel capsules at bedtime. I generally prefer taking fewer pills, but a large dose gives you the flexibility to reduce the dosage if it is too strong. The container should last a month.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Side Effects
Due to the ingredients, CLA PM could cause side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and headache. It’s important to be aware that high silica content could cause dehydration and kidney damage, and could strip your body of essential vitamins.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Pricing
You can buy CLA PM for the following prices:
• GNC.com: $39.99
• Amazon.com: $31.95
GNC Total Lean CLA PM: The Bottom Line
GNC Total Lean CLA PM is a good idea in theory: reducing fat with CLA while providing calming herbs to promote sleep. But there are a few things to worry about with the product, particularly the silica content. This isn’t the worst fat burner you could choose, but it’s certainly not the best, either.
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 F. Donath et al. “Critical Evaluation of the Effect of Valerian Extract on Sleep Structure and Sleep Quality.” Pharmacopsychiatry. 2000; 33 (2): 47-53. Available from: https://www.thieme-connect.com/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2000-7972
 Jeanie Lerche Davis. “Sleep Supplements: Melatonin, Valerian, and More.” WebMD.com. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/natural-good-sleep-tips-on-melatonin-valerian?page=1
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