, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 105–119 | Cite as

The Health Promoting Properties of the Conjugated Isomers of α-Linolenic Acid

  • Alan A. Hennessy
  • R. Paul Ross
  • Rosaleen Devery
  • Catherine Stanton


The bioactive properties of the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers have long been recognised and are the subject of a number of excellent reviews. However, despite this prominence the CLA isomers are not the only group of naturally occurring dietary conjugated fatty acids which have shown potent bioactivity. In a large number of in vitro and in vivo studies, conjugated α-linolenic acid (CLNA) isomers have displayed potent anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-obese and anti-carcinogenic activity, along with the ability to improve biomarkers of cardio-vascular health. CLNA isomers are naturally present in high concentrations in a large variety of seed oils but can also be produced in vitro by strains of lactobacilli and bifidobactena through the activity of the enzyme linoleic acid isomerase on α-linolenic acid. In this review, we will address the possible therapeutic roles that CLNA may play in a number of conditions afflicting Western society and the mechanisms through which this activity is mediated.


CLA Catalpic Eleostearic Calendic Punicic Cancer Obesity Atherosclerosis Inflammation 



Conjugated α-linolenic acid


Conjugated linoleic acid




High density lipoprotein






Low density lipoprotein


Long–Evans Tokusima Otsuka


Nuclear factor kappa B


Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


Sterol regulatory element binding protein(s)




Tumor necrosis factor α


Very low density lipoprotein


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan A. Hennessy
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. Paul Ross
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rosaleen Devery
    • 2
  • Catherine Stanton
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.TEAGASCMoorepark Food Research CentreFermoy, Co. CorkIreland
  2. 2.National Institute for Cellular BiotechnologyDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreCorkIreland

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