Impact of conjugated linoleic acid on bone physiology: proposed mechanism involving inhibition of adipogenesis

Nutr Rev. 2011 Mar;69(3):123-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00376.x. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation decreases adipose mass and increases bone mass in mice. Recent clinical studies demonstrate a beneficial effect of CLA on reducing weight and adipose mass in humans. This article reviews possible biological mechanisms of action of CLA on bone metabolism, focusing on modulation of nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma activity to steer mesenchymal stem cell differentiation toward an adipose and away from an osteoblast lineage. Clinical studies of the effects of CLA on bone mass and clinical implications of the effects of CLA on bone health in humans are summarized and discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated
  • PPAR gamma
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear