Conjugated fatty acids derived from linoleic acid – conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – have been studied as part of the fight against obesity.A particular form of CLA (or isomer) prevents the build up of triglycerides in adipocyte cultures.
CLA does not reduce the body weight of human obesity patients, but it does help increase the lean mass (muscles) at the expense of fat (adipose tissue). CLA also has a positive effect on the body composition of dogs fed ad libitum.
CLA’s anti-adipogenic action is said to be due to an effect of the regulation of glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the adipose tissue cells. The various CLA isomers have been widely studied due to their potential beneficial properties: effects on cancers,atherosclerosis, the immune function and diabetes.
CLA is found in ingredients from animal sources, such as diary products, meats and fats. They are synthesised by specific micro-organisms in the rumen. In dogs on the other hand, CLA production by intestinal bacteria is very low. Synthetic forms of CLA are added to food.