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Conjugated Linoleic Acid

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What other names is Conjugated Linoleic Acid known by?

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-Triacylglycerol, LA, Linoleic Acid, Trans-10,cis-12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid?

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.

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...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness 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.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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