Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on weight loss and body fat composition in a Chinese population

Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):559-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.09.008. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Objective: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has several benefits, including body fat reduction, as proved in animals. However, the results of CLA-induced body composition alterations in humans are inconsistent, and no related data are available for Chinese populations. This study aimed to determine whether CLA affects body weight (BW) loss and body composition of overweight and obese Chinese subjects.

Methods: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, subjects with a body mass index (BMI) of 24 to 35 kg/m(2) randomly received 1.7 g of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12 CLA (n = 30) or placebo (salad oil; n = 33) in 200 mL of sterilized milk twice daily for 12 wk. Changes in body composition were determined by bioimpedance measurements.

Results: Sixty-three subjects completed the study (CLA, n = 30). After 12 wk, compared with the baseline, the BW, BMI, total fat mass, fat percentage, subcutaneous fat mass, and waist-to-hip ratio decreased in the CLA group (P < 0.05). The CLA group was stratified by BMI and gender. The BW, BMI, subcutaneous fat mass, and waist-to-hip ratio decreased in 27 subjects with a BMI ≥ 27, and these indices, except subcutaneous fat mass, were lower in female subjects. The levels of total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein, and plasma fasting glucose increased, whereas those of high-density lipoprotein decreased after 3 mo of CLA treatment. The changes were not significantly different from the baseline values.

Conclusion: The supplementation of CLA for 12 wk in overweight and grade I obese Chinese subjects yielded lower obesity indices, with no obvious adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adult
  • Asian People*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol