An overview of conjugated linoleic acid: microbial production and application

Mini Rev Med Chem. 2014;14(9):734-46. doi: 10.2174/1389557514666140820113428.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has attracted considerable attention in health due to its important physiological properties proved in several in vivo experiments. Many bacteria, especially some probiotics, are able to produce CLA from the linoleic acid (LA) present in milk. In this review, CLA production by microorganisms is described. Then factors on the influencing the microbial production and the initial CLA content in milk fat are introduced. After a glimpse on the content of CLA in dairy products and human body, health benefits of CLA including anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antiathrosclerosis and anti-osteoporosis properties, as well as prevention of body fat increase and function as stimulator of the immunity system are explained.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / metabolism
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Lactobacillaceae / classification
  • Lactobacillaceae / metabolism*
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated / biosynthesis*
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated / pharmacology
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Probiotics / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / pharmacology


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated
  • Linoleic Acid