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J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):422-30.

Consumption of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from CLA-enriched cheese does not alter milk fat or immunity in lactating women.

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


Isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) decreased milk fat, altered immunity, and reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in some animals. The major form of CLA in the human diet is c9,t11-18:2 (rumenic acid; RA). We studied the effects of high RA consumption on plasma and milk RA concentration, milk composition, immunity, and CVD risk factors in lactating women (n = 36) assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: control, low CLA cheese (LCLA; 160 mg RA/d), or high CLA cheese (HCLA; 346 mg RA/d). The increase in plasma RA concentration between baseline and 8 wk in women consuming HCLA cheese was significantly greater than that of controls. At study completion (8 wk), milk RA concentration among women consuming HCLA cheese was greater (P < 0.05) than that of controls (0.37 vs. 0.26% of fatty acids). Treatment did not affect milk fat, protein, or lactose concentrations, immune indices (e.g., plasma T-helper cells and interleukin-2), or measured risk factors for CVD (e.g., plasma triacylglyceride and cholesterol). In summary, consumption of a RA-enriched cheese modestly increased plasma and milk RA concentrations without affecting total milk fat, plasma and milk indices of immunity, or selected risk factors for CVD.

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