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Nutr Cancer. 1999;33(1):53-7.

An increase in vitamin A status by the feeding of conjugated linoleic acid.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale, Universitale degli Studi di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, Italy.


Previous research indicated that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a potent inhibitor of mammary carcinogenesis. The present study showed a progressive increase in retinol (vitamin A alcohol) in the liver in proportion to CLA intake in rats that were fed different levels of CLA (in increments of 0.5%) for 1 month. The escalation reached a magnitude of about fivefold over the control at 2% dietary CLA. In contrast, the increase in liver retinyl esters peaked at about twofold between 0.5% and 1% CLA. Only retinol was detected in mammary tissue; a maximal twofold increase was attained at 0.5% CLA, and no dose-response effect was evident. The above findings are discussed in relation to two important questions: 1) How does CLA raise vitamin A status in the animal? 2) Is the increase in vitamin A associated with the anticarcinogenic effect of CLA?

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