Conjugated linoleic acid refers to a group of chemicals found in the fatty acid linoleic acid. Dairy products and beef are the major dietary sources.
Conjugated linoleic acid is used for cancer, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), obesity, weight loss caused by chronic disease, bodybuilding, and limiting food allergy reactions.
An average diet supplies 15-174 mg of conjugated linoleic acid daily.
How does it work?
Conjugated linoleic acid might help reduce body fat deposits and improve immune function.
Possibly Effective for:
- Colon and rectal cancer. Some research suggests that a diet high in conjugated linoleic acid might reduce the risk of cancer of the colon and rectum in women. It is not known whether taking conjugated linoleic acid supplements provides the same benefit.
- Obesity. Conjugated linoleic acid might help decrease body fat, but it does not seem to decrease body weight.
- Breast cancer. There is preliminary evidence that conjugated linoleic acid might help prevent breast cancer. Women who have passed menopause and have a higher intake of conjugated linoleic acid from foods, particularly cheese, seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
- Reducing cholesterol levels.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Conjugated linoleic acid is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in foods and is POSSIBLY SAFE for use in medicinal amounts (larger amounts than those found in food). It might cause side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of conjugated linoleic acid in medicinal mounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: There are concerns that taking conjugated linoleic acid can worsen diabetes. Avoid use.
Metabolic syndrome: There are concerns that taking conjugated linoleic acid might increase the risk of getting diabetes if you have metabolic syndrome. Avoid use.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For reducing body fat in obese patients, a dose of 1.8 to 7 grams per day has been used. However, doses greater than 3.4 grams per day do not seem to offer any additional benefit.