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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Oct;34(5):975-8. doi: 10.1139/H09-080.

A meta-analysis of the effects of conjugated linoleic acid on fat-free mass in humans.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences and Obstetrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Treatment of laboratory animals with a 50:50 mixture of c9,t11 and t10,c12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) results in fat loss and, to a smaller degree, fat-free mass (FFM) gain. In a previous meta-analysis, we found that CLA produced a fat loss, but that humans were not as responsive as mice. We performed a similar meta-analysis in the same 18 studies to test whether CLA increased FFM. Only placebo-controlled trials that measured body composition were included. We found that FFM increased during CLA treatment (0.3 +/- 0.7 kg; p = 0.05), but that the change did not display an effect of length of treatment (0.001 +/- 0.005 kg.week(-1); p = 0.8), or an effect of dosage (0.1 +/- 0.1 kg.g CLA(-1).day(-1); p = 0.3). We conclude that FFM does increase in humans during CLA treatment, but the onset of the increase is rapid and the total increase is small (<1%).

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