, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 133–137 | Cite as

CLA and body weight regulation in humans

  • Ulf Risérus
  • Annika Smedman
  • Samar Basu
  • Bengt VessbyEmail author


CLA comprises a group of unsaturated FA isomers with a variety of biological effects in experimental animals. CLA reduces body fat accumulation in animal models and has been suggested to have significant effects on lipid and glucose metabolism, e.g., antidiabetic effects in obese Zucker rats. It has been proposed that the trans10-cis12 isomer is the active isomer associated with the antiobesity and insulin-sensitizing properties of CLA. The metabolic effects in humans in general, and isomer-specific effects specifically, are not well characterized. In a series of controlled studies in humans, we investigated the effects of CLA (given as the commercially available mixture of isomers and as the purified trans10-cis12 CLA isomer) on anthropometry, lipid and glucose metabolism, and markers of lipid peroxidation. Preliminary results indicate that CLA may slightly decrease body fat in humans also, particularly abdominal fat, but there is no effect on body weight or body mass index. There is no simultaneous improvement in lipid or glucose metabolism. Rather, the trans10-cis12 CLA isomer unexpectedly caused significant impairment of the peripheral insulin sensitivity as well as of blood glucose and serum lipid levels. In addition, CLA markedly elevated lipid peroxidation. Thus, the metabolic effects of CLA in human seem complex; further studies, especially of isomer-specific effects and for longer time periods, are warranted.


Linoleic Acid Conjugate Linoleic Acid Conjugate Linoleic Acid Isomer Conjugate Linoleic Acid Supplementation Dietary Conjugate Linoleic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



body mass index




sagittal abdominal diameter


uncoupling protein


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kepler, C.R., Hirons, K.P., McNeill, J.J., and Tove, S.B. (1966) Intermediates and Products of the Biohydrogenation of Linoleic Acid by Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, J. Biol. Chem. 245, 3612–3620.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chin, S.F., Storkson, J.M., Ha, Y.L., and Pariza, M.W. (1992) Dietary Sources of Conjugated Dienoic Isomers of Linoleic Acid, a Newly Recognized Class of Anticarcinogens, J. Food Comp. Anal. 5, 185–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Briton, M., Fong, C., Wickens, D., and Yudkin, J. (1992) Diet as a Source of Phospholipid Esterified 9,11-Octadecadienoic Acid in Humans Clin. Sci. 83, 97–101.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jiang, J., Wolk, A., and Vessby, B. (1999) Relation Between the Intake of Milk Fat and the Occurrence of Conjugated Linoleic Acid in Human Adipose Tissue, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70, 21–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Park, Y., Albright, K.J., Liu, W., Storkson, J.M., Cook, M.E., and Pariza, M.W. (1997) Effect of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Body Composition in Mice, Lipids 32, 853–858.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dugan, M.E.R., Aalhus, J.L., Schaefer, A.L., and Kramer, J.K.G. (1997) The Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Fat to Lean Repartitioning and Feed Conversion in Pigs, Can. J. Anim. Sci. 77, 723–725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    West, D.B., Delany, J.P., Camet, P.M., Blohm, F., Truett, A.A., and Scimeca, J. (1998) Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Body Fat and Energy Metabolism in the Mouse, Am. J. Physiol. 275, R667-R672.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ostrowska, E., Muralitharan, M., Cross, R.F., Bauman, D.E., and Dunshea, F.R. (1999) Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid Increases Lean Tissue and Decreases Fat Deposition in Growing Pigs, J. Nutr. 129, 2037–2042.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Houseknecht, K.L., Van den Heuvel, J.P., Moya-Camarena, S.Y., Portocarrero, C.P., Peck, L.W., Nickel, K.P., and Belury, M. (1998) Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid Normalizes Impaired Glucose Tolerance in the Zucker Diabetic Fatty fa/fa Rat, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 244, 678–682.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gavino, V.C., Gavino, G., Leblanc, M.J., and Tuchweber, B. (2000) An Isomeric Mixture of Conjugated Linoleic Acid but Not Pure cis-9, trans-11-Octadecadienoic Acid Affects Body Weight Gain and Plasma Lipids in Hamsters, J. Nutr. 130, 27–29.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Alberti, G., Zimmet, P., and Consultation, W. (1998) Definition, Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications. Part 1: Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus, Provisional Report of a WHO Consultation, Diabetic Med. 15, 539–553.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Björntorp, P. (1993) Visceral Obesity: A Civilization Syndrome, Obes. Res. 1, 206–222.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kvist, H., Chowdhury, B., Grangård, U., Tylén, U., and Sjöström, L. (1988) Total and Visceral Adipose-Tissue Volumes Derived from Measurements with Computed Tomography in Adult Men and Women: Predictive Equations, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 48, 1351–1361.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pouliot, M.C., Després, J.P., Lemieux, S., Moorjani, S., Bouchard, C., Tremblay, A., and Lupien, P.J. (1994) Waist Circumference and Sagittal Diameter: Best Simple Anthropometric Indexes of Abdominal Visceral Adipose Tissue Accumulation and Related Metabolic Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Men and Women, Am. J. Cardiol. 73, 460–468.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Öhrvall, M., Berglund, L., and Vessby, B. (2000) Sagittal Abdominal Diameter Compared with Other Anthropometric Measurements in Relation to Cardiovascular Risk, Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 24, 497–501.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Risérus, U., Berglund, L., and Vessby, B. (2001) Abdominal Sagittal Diameter Is Strongly Related to Insulin Resistance in Men with the Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetologia 44 (Suppl. 1), A205 (Abstr.).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Smedman, A., Gustafsson, I.-B., Berglund, L., and Vessby, B. (1999) Pentadecanoic Acid (15∶0) in Serum as a Marker for Intake of Milk Fat. The Relationships Between Intake of Milk Fat and Metabolic Risk Factors, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 69, 22–29.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Atkinson, R.L. (1999) Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Altering Body Composition and Treating Obesity, in Advances in Conjugated Linoleic Acid Research, Volume 1 (Yurawecz, M.P., Mossoba, M.M., Kramer, J.K.G.., Pariza, M.W., and Nelson, G.J., eds.) pp. 348–353, AOCS Press, Champaign.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Blankson, H., Stakkestad, J.A., Fagertun, H., Thom, E., Wadstein, J., and Gudmundsen, O. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Reduces Body Fat Mass in Overweight and Obese Humans, J. Nutr. 130, 2943–2948.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zambell, K.L., Keim, N.L., Van Loan, M.D., Gale, B., Benito, P., Kelley, D.S., and Nelson, G.J. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplementation in Humans: Effects on Body Composition and Energy Expenditure, Lipids 35, 777–782.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mougios, V., Matsakas, A., Petridou, A., Ring, S., Sagredos, A., Melissopoulou, A., Tsigilis, N., and Nikolaidis, M. (2001) Effect of Supplementation with Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human Serum Lipids and Body Fat, J. Nutr. Biochem. 12, 585–594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Smedman, A., and Vessby, B. (2001) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Decreases Body Fat in Healthy Humans, Lipids 36, 773–781.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Forslund, A.H., Johansson, A.G., Sjodin, A., Bryding, G., Ljunghall, S., and Hambraeus, L. (1996) Evaluation of Modified Multicompartment Models to Calculate Body Composition in Healthy Males, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 63, 856–862.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Risérus, U., Berglund, L., and Vessby, B. (2001) Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Reduced Abdominal Adipose Tissue in Obese Middle-Aged Men with Signs of the Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Int. J. Obes. 25, 1129–1135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Risérus, U., Arner, P., Brismar, K., and Vessby, B. (2002) Treatment with Dietary trans 10-cis12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid Causes Isomer-Specific Insulin Resistance in Obese Men with the Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes Care 25, 1516–1521.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Medina, E.M., Horn, W.F., Keim, N.L., Havel, P.J., Benito, P., Kelley, D.S., Nelson, G.J., and Erickson, K.L. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplementation in Humans: Effects on Circulating Leptin Concentrations and Appetite, Lipids 35, 783–788.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schonberg, S., and Krokan, H.E. (1995) The Inhibitory Effect of Conjugated Dienoic Derivatives (CLA) of Linoleic Acid on the Growth of Human Tumor Cell Lines Is in Part Due to Increased Lipid Peroxidation, Anticancer Res. 15, 1241–1246.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    O’Shea, M., Stanton, C., and Devery, R. (1999) Antioxidant Enzyme Defence Responses of Human MCF-7 and SW 470 Cancer Cells to Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Anticancer Res. 19, 1953–1959.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Basu, S., Smedman, A., and Vessby, B. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Induces Lipid Peroxidation in Humans, FEBS Lett. 468, 33–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Basu, S., Risérus, U., Turpeinen, A., and Vessby, B. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Induces Lipid Peroxidation in Men with Abdominal Obesity, Clin. Sci. 99, 511–516.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Basu, S. (1998) Radioimmunoassay of 8-Iso-prostaglandin F: An Index for Oxidative Injury via Free Radical Catalysed Lipid Peroxidation, Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids 58, 319–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Basu, S. (1998) Radioimmunoassay of 15-Keto-dihydro-prostaglandin F: An Index for Inflammation via Cyclooxygenase Catalysed Lipid Peroxidation, Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids 58, 347–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Halliwell, B. (2000) Lipid Peroxidation, Antioxidants and Cardiovascular Disease: How Should We Move Forward? Cardiovasc. Res. 47, 410–418.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Yudkin, J.S., Stehouwer, C.D., Emeis, J.J., and Coppack, S.W. (1999) C-Reactive Protein in Healthy Subjects: Associations with Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Endothelial Dysfunction: A Potential Role for Cytokines Originating from Adipose Tissue? Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 19, 972–978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Carantoni, M., Abbasi, F., and Warmerdam, F., (1998) Relationship Between Insulin Resistance and Partially Oxidized LDL in Healthy, Nondiabetic Volunteers, Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 18, 762–767.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Park, Y., Storkson, J.M., Albright, K.J., Liu, W., and Pariza, M.W. (1999) Evidence That the trans 10,cis12 Isomer of Conjugated Linoleic Acid Induces Body Weight Changes in Mice, Lipids 34, 234–241.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Arner, P. (1995) Differences in Lipolysis Between Human Subcutaneous and Omental Adipose Tissues, Ann. Med. 27, 435–438.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ryder, J.W., Portocarrero, C.P., Song, X.M., Cui, L., Yu, M., Combatsiaris, T., Galuska, D., Bauman, D.E., Barbano, D.M., Charon, M.J., Zierath, J.R., and Houseknecht, K.L. (2001) Isomer-Specific Antidiabetic Properties of Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Improved Glucose Tolerance, Skeletal Muscle Insulin Action and UCP-2 Gene Expression, Diabetes 50, 1149–1157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tsuboyama-Kasaoka, N., Takahashi, M., Tanemura, K., Kim, H.J., Tange, T., Okuyama, H., Kasai, M., Ikemoto, S., and Ezaki, O. (2000) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplementation Reduces Adipose Tissue by Apoptosis and Develops Lipodystrophy in Mice, Diabetes 49, 1534–1542.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Delany, J.P., Blohm, F., Truett, A.A., Scimeca, J.A., and West, D.B. (1999) Conjugated Linoleic Acid Rapidly Reduces Body Fat Content in Mice Without Affecting Energy Intake, Am. J. Physiol. 276, R1172-R1179.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Bonadonna, R.C., Groop, L., Kraemer, N., Ferranini, E., Del Prato, S., and DeFronzo, R.A. (1990) Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Humans: A Dose-Response Study, Metabolism 39, 452–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Risérus
    • 1
  • Annika Smedman
    • 1
  • Samar Basu
    • 1
  • Bengt Vessby
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Unit for Clinical Nutrition Research, Department of Public Health and Caring SciencesUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations