Biological effects of conjugated linoleic acids in health and disease

Arunabh Bhattacharya, Jameela Banu, Mizanur Rahman, Jennifer Causey, Gabriel Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

511 Scopus citations


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a mixture of positional and geometric isomers of octadecadienoic acid [linoleic acid (LA), 18:2n-6] commonly found in beef, lamb and dairy products. The most abundant isomer of CLA in nature is the cis-9, trans-11 (c9t11) isomer. Commercially available CLA is usually a 1:1 mixture of c9t11 and trans-10, cis-12 (t10c12) isomers with other isomers as minor components. Conjugated LA isomer mixture and c9t11 and t10c12 isomers alone have been attributed to provide several health benefits that are largely based on animal and in vitro studies. Conjugated LA has been attributed many beneficial effects in prevention of atherosclerosis, different types of cancer, hypertension and also known to improve immune function. More recent literature with availability of purified c9t11 and t10c12 isomers suggests that t10c12 is the sole isomer involved in antiadipogenic role of CLA. Other studies in animals and cell lines suggest that the two isomers may act similarly or antagonistically to alter cellular function and metabolism, and may also act through different signaling pathways. The effect of CLA and individual isomers shows considerable variation between different strains (BALB/C mice vs. C57BL/6 mice) and species (e.g., rats vs. mice). The dramatic effects seen in animal studies have not been reflected in some clinical studies. This review comprehensively discusses the recent studies on the effects of CLA and individual isomers on body composition, cardiovascular disease, bone health, insulin resistance, mediators of inflammatory response and different types of cancer, obtained from both in vitro and animal studies. This review also discusses the latest available information from clinical studies in these areas of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-810
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Bone
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Conjugated linoleic acid
  • Fat mass
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological effects of conjugated linoleic acids in health and disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this