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J Nutr. 2012 Sep;142(9):1645-51. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.156794. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Dietary intake of c9,t11-conjugated linoleic acid correlates with its concentration in plasma lipid fractions of men but not women.

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United Dairymen of Idaho, Boise, ID, USA.


The c9,t11-18:2 isomer of conjugated linoleic acid (c9,t11-CLA) represents the main dietary CLA form with putative health benefits. Whereas CLA intake influences the tissue CLA concentration, little is known about the association between dietary CLA and the CLA content of plasma lipid fractions. This study was designed to document fasting and nonfasting plasma c9,t11-CLA concentrations in a population of free-living adults (n = 94) and relate these concentrations to c9,t11-CLA intake. We also determined the c9,t11-CLA content of the primary plasma lipid fractions in a subset (n = 50) of our participants, related these to c9,t11-CLA intake, and determined whether c9,t11-CLA intake or plasma c9,t11-CLA was correlated with plasma cholesterol. Mean fasting plasma c9,t11-CLA concentrations were 0.46 ± 0.01 and 0.54 ± 0.01% (wt:wt) of total fatty acids for men and women, respectively (P < 0.05); nonfasting concentrations were 0.28 ± 0.01 and 0.38 ± 0.01% of total fatty acids, respectively (P < 0.001). All major esterified plasma lipid fractions contained c9,t11-CLA; TG had the highest percentages. In men, c9,t11-CLA intake correlated (r = 0.47; P < 0.05) with TG c9,t11-CLA content, suggesting that TG c9,t11-CLA may serve as a biomarker for c9,t11-CLA intake. In females, there were no correlations between c9,t11-CLA intake and the c9,t11-CLA content of any esterified plasma lipid fraction. In neither sex was there a relation between dietary c9,t11-CLA or plasma c9,t11-CLA concentration and circulating lipoprotein cholesterol concentration. The influence of sex on circulating c9,t11-CLA content and further validation of biomarkers of c9,t11-CLA intake warrant further investigation.

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