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J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Jul;18(7):467-74. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Conjugated linoleic acid protects against age-associated bone loss in C57BL/6 female mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Osteoporosis is one of the major causes of morbidity in the elderly. Inflammation exerts a significant influence on bone turnover, inducing the chronic form of osteoporosis. Dietary nutrition has the capacity to modulate inflammatory response. Therefore, nutritional strategies and lifestyle changes may prevent age-related osteoporosis, thereby improving the quality of life of the elderly population. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to positively influence calcium and bone metabolism. Hence, this study was undertaken to examine the effect of CLA on bone mineral density (BMD) in middle-aged C57BL/6 female mice. After 10 weeks on diet, CLA-fed mice (14 months) maintained a higher BMD in different bone regions than corn oil (CO)-fed mice. The increased BMD was accompanied by a decreased activity of proinflammatory cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6 and the receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand) and decreased osteoclast function. Furthermore, a significant decrease in fat mass and an increase in muscle mass were also observed in CLA-fed mice compared to CO-fed mice. In conclusion, these findings suggest that CLA may prevent the loss of bone and muscle mass by modulating markers of inflammation and osteoclastogenic factors.

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