Conjugated linoleic acid and human health: a critical evaluation of the evidence
Tricon, S. and Yaqoob, P. (2006) Conjugated linoleic acid and human health: a critical evaluation of the evidence. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 9 (2). pp. 105-110. ISSN 1363-1950
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1097/01.mco.0000214567.44568.fb
Purpose of review: This review critically evaluates studies investigating the effects of conjugated linoleic acid on human health, including effects on body composition, blood lipids, liver metabolism, insulin sensitivity and immune function. It focuses mainly on human intervention studies, but includes some reference to animal and cellular studies which provide insight into potential molecular mechanisms of action of conjugated linoleic acid. Recent findings: Human studies continue to report inconsistent effects of conjugated linoleic acid on human health. Some of these reports are based on overinterpretation of marginal effects of supplementation. Recent data suggest that the effects of the substance may be isomer dependent and that cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acids have opposing effects on blood lipids and on metabolism in adipocytes and hepatic cells. Summary: Claims that conjugated linoleic acid is beneficial for health remain as yet unconvincing. Human studies investigating the effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplements have tended to use mixtures of isomers and have been inconsistent. More recent studies have attempted to use relatively pure preparations of single isomers and these studies suggest that the effects of conjugated linoleic acid may be isomer-specific. These recent data suggest a relative detrimental effect of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on blood lipids. There appears to be little effect of conjugated linoleic acid on immune function and the effects on insulin sensitivity remain unclear.