Background: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces body weight (BW), body fat mass (BFM), and increases or maintains lean body mass in animals. However, the results concerning the effect of CLA on weight reduction in humans are contradictory. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of CLA supplementation on the BW and anthropometric parameters (waist and hip circumferences) in overweight and obese adult women.
Methods: A total of 74 subjects (BMI: 28-42 kg/m2) were included in a double blind, placebocontrolled trial. Subjects were randomized into two groups, those supplemented with either 3.0 g/d CLA or with placebo (sunflower oil) for 12 weeks.
Results: CLA significantly decreased the hip circumferences compared to placebo (p = 0.016209), but had no effect on body weight, BMI, or waist circumference. The number of subjects with a reduction in hip circumference in the CLA group was significantly larger compared to that in the placebo group (p = 0.0017; NNT= 2.65; CI [6.27-1.685]).
Conclusions: In conclusion, our findings do not support the hypothesis that 12 weeks CLA supplementation, as dosed in the present study, is effective for body weight reduction in overweight and obese women. However, its local action in decreasing the hip circumference seems to be encouraging and suggests that CLA may represent an attractive dietary supplement.
Keywords: BMI; CLA; body weight; hip circumference; placebo; waist circumference.