, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 249–256

Inhibitory Effect of Conjugated α-Linolenic Acid from Bifidobacteria of Intestinal Origin on SW480 Cancer Cells

  • Mairéad Coakley
  • Sebastiano Banni
  • Mark C. Johnson
  • Susan Mills
  • Rosaleen Devery
  • Gerald Fitzgerald
  • R. Paul Ross
  • Catherine Stanton
Original Article


In this study, we assessed the ability of six strains of bifidobacteria (previously shown by us to possess the ability to convert linoleic acid to c9, t11-conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to grow in the presence of α-linolenic acid and to generate conjugated isomers of the fatty acid substrate during fermentation for 42 h. The six strains of bifidobacteria were grown in modified MRS (mMRS) containing α-linolenic acid for 42 h at 37 °C, after which the fatty acid composition of the growth medium was assessed by gas liquid chromatography (GLC). Indeed, following fermentation of one of the strains, namely Bifidobacterium breve NCIMB 702258, in the presence of 0.41 mg/ml α-linolenic acid, 79.1% was converted to the conjugated isomer, C18:3 c9, t11, c15 conjugated α-linolenic acid (CALA). To examine the inhibitory effect of the fermented oils produced, SW480 colon cancer cells were cultured in the presence of the extracted fermented oil (10–50 μg/ml) for 5 days. The data indicate an inhibitory effect on cell growth (p ≤ 0.001) of CALA, with cell numbers reduced by 85% at a concentration of 180 μM, compared with a reduction of only 50% with α-linolenic acid (p ≤ 0.01).


Bifidobacterium α-Linolenic acid Conjugated α-linolenic acid (CALA) Cancer Health promotion 


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mairéad Coakley
    • 1
  • Sebastiano Banni
    • 4
  • Mark C. Johnson
    • 1
  • Susan Mills
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rosaleen Devery
    • 3
  • Gerald Fitzgerald
    • 2
  • R. Paul Ross
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Stanton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Teagasc, Biotechnology CentreMoorepark Food Research CentreFermoyIreland
  2. 2.Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreUniversity CollegeCorkIreland
  3. 3.National Institute for Cellular BiotechnologyDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale, Università degli Studi di CagliariCittadella UniversitariaMonserratoItaly

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