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Nutr Cancer. 2002;43(1):52-8.

Conjugated linoleic acid isomers and mammary cancer prevention.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


There is increasing evidence that individual isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may have unique biological or biochemical effects. A primary objective of this study was to determine whether there might be differences in the anticancer activity of 9,11-CLA and 10,12-CLA. This was achieved by evaluating the reduction in premalignant lesions and carcinomas in the mammary gland of rats that had been treated with a single dose of methylnitrosourea and given 0.5% of either highly purified CLA isomer in the diet. Our results showed that the anticancer efficacies of the two isomers were very similar. At 6 wk after carcinogen administration, the total number of premalignant lesions was reduced by 33-36%. At 24 wk, the total number of mammary carcinomas was reduced by 35-40%. The concentration of each CLA isomer and its respective metabolites was analyzed in the mammary fat pad. Tissue level of 10,12-CLA was much lower than that of 9,11-CLA. The pool of metabolites from each isomer was very similar between the two groups and represented only a small fraction of total conjugated diene fatty acids. Feeding of 9,11-CLA resulted in minimal changes in other unsaturated fatty acids. In contrast, feeding of 10,12-CLA produced a wider spectrum of perturbations. Small but significant increases in 16:1 and 16:2 were detected; these were accompanied by decreases in 20:2, 20:3, 20:4, 22:4, and 22:6. The above observation suggests that 10,12-CLA might be more potent than 9,11-CLA in interfering with elongation and desaturation of linoleic and linolenic acids. In summary, our study showed that, at the 0.5% dose level, the anticancer activity of 9,11-CLA and 10,12-CLA was very similar, even though accumulation of 10,12-CLA in the mammary tissue was considerably less than that of 9,11-CLA. These confounding changes of the other unsaturated fatty acids in contributing to the effect of 10,12-CLA need to be clarified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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