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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Feb;67(2):332-7.

Safflower oil consumption does not increase plasma conjugated linoleic acid concentrations in humans.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6376, USA.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a mixture of positional and geometric isomers of linoleic acid (LA) with conjugated double bonds. CLA has anticarcinogenic properties and has been identified in human tissues, dairy products, meats, and certain vegetable oils. A variety of animal products are good sources of CLA, but plant oils contain much less. However, plant oils are a rich source of LA, which may be isomerized to CLA by intestinal microorganisms in humans. To investigate the effect of triacylglycerol-esterified LA consumption on plasma concentrations of esterified CLA in total lipids, a dietary intervention (6 wk) was conducted with six men and six women. During the intervention period a salad dressing containing 21 g safflower oil providing 16 g LA/d was added to the subjects' daily diets. Three-day diet records and fasting blood were obtained initially and during dietary and postdietary intervention periods. Although LA intake increased significantly during the dietary intervention, plasma CLA concentrations were not affected. Plasma total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were significantly lower after addition of safflower oil to the diet. In summary, consumption of triacylglycerol-esterified LA in safflower oil did not increase plasma concentrations of esterified CLA in total lipids.

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