Long-term supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces body fat mass (BFM) and increases or maintains lean body mass (LBM). However, the regional effect of CLA was not studied. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of CLA per region and safety in healthy, overweight and obese adults. A total of 118 subjects (BMI: 28-32 kg/m2) were included in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects were randomised into two groups supplemented with either 3 x 4 g/d CLA or placebo for 6 months. CLA significantly decreased BFM at month 3 (Delta=- 0 x 9 %, P=0 x 016) and at month 6 (Delta=- 3 x 4 %, P=0 x 043) compared with placebo. The reduction in fat mass was located mostly in the legs (Delta=- 0 x 8 kg, P<0 x 001), and in women (Delta=-1 x 3 kg, P=0 x 046) with BMI >30 kg/m2 (Delta=-1 x 9 kg, P=0 x 011), compared with placebo. The waist-hip ratio decreased significantly (P=0 x 043) compared with placebo. LBM increased (Delta=+0 x 5 kg, P=0 x 049) within the CLA group. Bone mineral content was not affected (P=0 x 70). All changes were independent of diet and physical exercise. Safety parameters including blood lipids, inflammatory and diabetogenic markers remained within the normal range. Adverse events did not differ between the groups. It is concluded that supplementation with CLA in healthy, overweight and obese adults decreases BFM in specific regions and is well tolerated.