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CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID

Other Names:

Acide Linoléique Conjugué, Acide Linoléique Conjugué Cis-9,trans-11, Acide Linoléique Conjugué trans-10,cis-12, Acido Linoleico Conjugado, ALC, Cis-9,trans-11 Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Cis-Linoleic Acid, CLA, CLA-Free Fatty Acid, CLA-Triacylglyc...
See All Names

 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
Overview Information

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.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • High blood pressure. Taking conjugated linoleic acid along with ramipril seems to reduce blood pressure more than ramipril alone in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Obesity. Taking conjugated linoleic acid by mouth daily might help decrease body fat in adults, but it does not seem to decrease body weight or body mass index (BMI) in most people. Conjugated linoleic acid might reduce feelings of hunger, but it’s not clear if this leads to reduced caloric intake. Taking conjugated linoleic acid does not seem to prevent weight gain in previously obese people who lost some weight.
    Adding conjugated linoleic acid to fatty foods does not seem to promote weight loss. However, adding conjugated linoleic acid to milk might help decrease body fat in obese adults.
    In children, taking 3 grams of conjugated linoleic acid daily seems to help reduce body fat.
    While conjugated linoleic acid might help reduce body weight, some research shows that taking a particular form of conjugated linoleic acid (the trans-10,cis-12 isomer) might increase risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not clear whether supplements containing different forms of conjugated linoleic acid have this same risk.

Possibly Ineffective for:

  • Common cold. Research suggests that taking conjugated linoleic acid does not prevent or reduce symptoms of the common cold.
  • Diabetes. Taking conjugated linoleic acid does not improve pre-meal or post-meal blood sugar or insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • High cholesterol. Drinking milk containing conjugated linoleic acid does not seem to improve levels of cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides in people with mildly high cholesterol levels.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Allergies (hay fever). Taking conjugated linoleic acid for 12 weeks seems to improve well-being in people with birch allergies. However, it doesn’t seem to improve overall allergy symptoms.
  • Asthma. Taking conjugated linoleic acid for 12 weeks seems to improve airway sensitivity and ability to exercise in people with asthma. However, it doesn’t seem to reduce the need to use inhalers or improve lung capacity.
  • Breast cancer. Research on the effects of conjugated linoleic acid for preventing breast cancer is conflicting. Some early research suggests that higher intake of conjugated linoleic acid from foods, particularly cheese, seems to be linked with a lower risk of developing breast cancer. However, other research suggests that increased dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acid is not linked with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, some research suggests that increased intake of conjugated linoleic acid might be linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Colon and rectal cancer. Some research suggests that a diet high in conjugated linoleic acid might be linked with a lower risk of cancer of the colon and rectum in women. It is not known whether taking conjugated linoleic acid supplements provides the same benefit.
  • Strength. Research on the effects of conjugated linoleic acid for improving strength is conflicting. Some research shows that taking conjugated linoleic acid, alone or along with creatine and whey protein, helps increase strength and improve lean tissue mass in people who are strength training. However, other research shows that conjugated linoleic acid does not improve strength or body composition when used along with strength training.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research suggest that taking conjugated linoleic acid, alone or along with vitamin E, reduces pain and morning stiffness, as well as lab markers of swelling, compared to pretreatment in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate conjugated linoleic acid for these uses.


Side Effects & Safety

Conjugated linoleic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts found in foods and is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth 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:

Children: Conjugated linoleic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for up to 7 months. There is not enough evidence to know if long-term use is safe.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Conjugated linoleic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. But there is not enough evidence to know if conjugated linoleic acid is safe to use in medicinal mounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders. Conjugated linoleic acid might slow blood clotting. In theory, conjugated linoleic acid might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

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.

Surgery: Conjugated linoleic acid might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for Interactions

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH

  • 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.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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