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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 2000 Jan;223(1):8-13.

Mechanisms of action of conjugated linoleic acid: evidence and speculation.

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  • 1Food Research Institute, Department of Food Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53706, USA.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to inhibit carcinogenesis and atherosclerosis, enhance immunologic function while protecting against the catabolic effects of immune stimulation, affect body composition change (reducing body fat gain while enhancing lean body mass gain), and stimulate the growth of young rats. We discuss possible biochemical mechanisms that underlie these physiological effects. We emphasize the importance of considering the effects, both individually and combined, of the two CLA isomers (cis-9, trans-11 CLA and trans-10, cis-12 CLA) that have been shown to exhibit biological activity and which appear to exert their effects via different biochemical mechanisms.

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