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J Nutr. 2002 Oct;132(10):2995-8.

Inhibition of carcinogenesis by conjugated linoleic acid: potential mechanisms of action.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Northwest Hospital, Bothell, WA 98021, USA.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is composed of positional and stereoisomers of octadecadienoate (18:2); it is found in foods derived from ruminants (beef and lamb as well as dairy products from these sources). When a mixture of isomers is fed to experimental animals, chemically induced tumorigenesis of mammary, skin and colon is reduced. Importantly, many isomers of CLA are readily metabolized to desaturated/elongated products as well as beta-oxidized products, suggesting that these metabolites may be important anticancer compounds. Mechanisms of inhibition of carcinogenesis may include reduction of cell proliferation, alterations in the components of the cell cycle and induction of apoptosis. In addition, CLA modulates markers of immunity and eicosanoid formation in numerous species as well as lipid metabolism and gene expression. It is likely that CLA exerts inhibitory properties in carcinogenesis via one or more of these pathways with some tissue specificity. This review will explore recent advances in putative mechanisms of reduction of carcinogenesis by CLA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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