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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2003 Sep-Dec;16(3):215-20.

Conjugated linoleic acid: a functional food?

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  • 1Unit of Human Nutrition, Dept Biomedical Sciences, Chieti University, Chieti, Italy.


Scientific interest in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) started in 1987 when Michael Pariza's team of Wisconsin University observed its inhibitory effects on chemically induced skin tumors in mice. Numerous studies have since examined CLA's role in cancer, immune function, oxidative stress, atherosclerosis, lipid and fatty acids metabolism, bone formation and composition, obesity, and diabetes. Still it's not clear yet either through which mechanisms CLA produces its numerous metabolic effects. We now know that CLA contents in cow milk fat can be enriched through dry fractionation, but this knowledge doesn't allow sufficient certainty to qualify this nutrient, as a functional food, capable of increasing well being and reducing the risk of disease.

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