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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Gaullier J, Halse J, Hoivik H, et al. Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese. Br J Nutr 2007; 97:550-560.

A randomized, double-blind. placebo-controlled trial examined the use of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in 118 overweight subjects with a body mass index (BMI of 28-32 kg/m2 . The study subjects were mainly women, and were given 3.4 g/day of CLA or placebo for 6 months. Measurements included total body weight, body fat mass (BFM), and waist size. Women assigned in the CLA group lost 3.4% BFM, while those in the placebo group lost 0.1%. Subjects who complied well with the study protocol had a loss of 5.6% BFM. In women who were obese at the start of the study (BMI > 30 kg/m2 ), most fat loss was from the legs. Waist size in the treatment group decreased by more than 1 inch, or 2.7%, but did not change in the placebo group.


The results of this study aren’t surprising in view of previous reports that CLA reduces body weight. The primary mechanism of the effects of CLA on weight loss has not been spelled out in detail, but a reduction in the accumulation of fatty acids in fat cells as the result of inhibition of lipoprotein lipase and promotion of carnitine palmitoyltransferase is the most probable mechanism for this. The legs aren’t a critical area for weight loss, but the waist is. Abdominal fat and abdominal weight gain are highly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. As CLA is used for one to two years, Other reports suggest that use of CLA for 1-2 years can be accompanied by a decline of 9% in BFM.

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