Effect of supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid on human serum lipids and body fat

J Nutr Biochem. 2001 Oct;12(10):585-594. doi: 10.1016/s0955-2863(01)00177-2.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a natural component of meat and dairy products with anticarcinogenic, fat lowering, antiatherogenic and anticatabolic activity in animals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CLA supplementation to humans on body fat, certain biochemical parameters of serum, and the CLA content of serum lipids. Twenty-two volunteers were divided into a study group and a control group in a doubly blind design. The study group received 0.7 g of CLA for four weeks and 1.4 g of CLA for the next four weeks, while the control group received placebo. Diet was controlled and no significant differences in energy or macronutrient intake were found between the two groups. Measurements were taken at baseline, four weeks, and eight weeks. The sum of the thickness of ten skinfolds, percentage body fat calculated from it and fat mass was significantly reduced in the CLA group during the second period (P < 0.004) but not overall during the study. Serum HDL-cholesterol decreased significantly (P < 0.001) and triacylglycerols as well as total cholesterol tended to decrease in the CLA group during the first period. The CLA content of serum non-esterified fatty acids, triacylglycerols, phospholipids, and cholesteryl esters increased gradually with supplementation; the CLA content of total serum lipids doubled at the end of the study compared to baseline. Phospholipids had the highest CLA content regardless of supplementation. These data indicate that supplementation with 0.7-1.4 g CLA daily for 4-8 weeks may modulate body fat and serum lipids, as well as increase the CLA content of serum lipids in humans.