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J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Sep;13(9):508.

Isomer-specific effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on adiposity and lipid metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Medicine/Endocrinology, Emory University, 30322, Atlanta, GA, USA


Isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), unsaturated fatty acids found in ruminant meats and dairy products, have been shown to reduce adiposity and alter lipid metabolism in animal, human, and cell culture studies. In particular, dietary CLA decreases body fat and increases lean body mass in certain rodents, chickens, and pigs, depending on the isomer, dose, and duration of treatment. However, the effects of CLA on human adiposity are conflicting because these studies have used different mixtures and levels of CLA isomers and diverse subject populations. Potential antiobesity mechanisms of CLA include decreased preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation into mature adipocytes, decreased fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis, and increased energy expenditure, lipolysis, and fatty acid oxidation. This review will address the current research on CLA's effects on human and animal adiposity and lipid metabolism as well as potential mechanism(s) responsible for CLA's antiobesity properties.

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