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Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 8th, 2022

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CLA and weight loss

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is gaining the attention of many nutritionists for its role in weight loss, fighting cancer, building muscles, and preventing diabetes. Early experiments conducted on rodents revealed that the addition of CLA to their daily diet promoted dramatic weight loss. More importantly, the rodents’ lean muscles increased even as they lost body fat. The experiments also revealed that the rodents were less likely to have artery-clogging with CLA in their diet.

In the year 2000, research in California was conducted on 17 women involved in having 3 grams of a CLA mixture in their diet every day. After two months, there was no change in their body composition. Since all the participants were required to adhere to a specific diet, there was no way of establishing CLA’s potential to suppress appetite. In another experiment, 21 patients with type II diabetes were subjected to a daily dose of 8 grams of a CLA mixture for two months and with unregulated diets. Their CLA blood levels were then correlated with their weight. The presence of t10c12 isomer signified a weight loss.

Effects of adding CLA on food intake

With 24 women participants, a randomized, placebo-controlled was conducted to investigate the difference in food intake tendencies when CLA was added to ice cream. The women were divided into two groups; 14 linoleic acid tasters (LAT) and 10 linoleic acid non-tasters (LANT). The groups did not differ in BMI (body mass index), age, or body weight. The test was aimed at establishing the test perception created by CLA, which then affects intake.

The results were presented as follows:

Eating and appetite profile variables for LAT and LANT

LAT (n14)
Mean SD
LANT (n 10)
Mean SD
Meal duration (s) 500.6 156.4 399.9 182.7
Amount eaten (g) 200.5 81.2 175.5 81.9
Amount eaten (Kj) 1316.7 534.1 1140.2 534.5
Eating rate (g/s) 0.4 0.2 0.5 0.2
Bite size (g) 4.2 1.2 4.8 2.1
Bite frequency (bites per s) 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0
Satiety 64.2 14.6 62.8 22.5
Pleasantness of taste -14.5 12.2 -20.1 10.6

CLA and enzyme activity in the human breast, prostate and colon cancer cells

This test was aimed at studying the relationship between CLA isomers and fatty acid synthase (FAS), a fatty acid that cancer cells use to sustain growth. Using SKBr-3, HT-29, and LNCap breast, colon, and prostrate cancer cells respectively, the study was done to establish how CLA isomers inhibit their growth. “The cells proliferation was assessed after 6 days of treatment with CLA isomers” (Lau and Michael 117). The results indicated that CLA inhibited the proliferation of all the cells used in the experiment. The 10,12 CLA isomers inhibited the fatty acid synthase from expressing itself. They also inhibited FAS enzymes activities. From the experiment, the 9,11 isomer inhibited the growth of colon cancer while the 10,12 isomer inhibited the growth of the prostate cancer cells.

Discussion

Research on the relationship between CLA and weight reveals that there are many disagreements over how exactly CLA fights weight. There is however an agreement that it does reduce the levels of body fat. The experiment done on the 21 patients revealed a significant difference in body fat after having 8 grams included in their diet for two months. It was evident that there was a reduced clogging effect, perhaps from the fact that the participants’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol dropped when CLA was added in their diet. At the same time, their triglyceride values dropped. The presence of the t10c12 isomer, which was found on the type II diabetes patients who took CLA, is associated with decreased leptin in the blood. “Leptin is the hormone associated with the body’s hunger-satiety feedback mechanism” (Kiefer 84).

In the experiment testing the relationship between CLA and sugary foods consumption, ice cream was used. Looking at the results “it is evident that LAT increased their ability to discriminate between a low energy ice cream with linoleic acid and low-energy ice cream with oleic acid” (Kamphuis, Wim, and Margriet 205). The pleasantness of the taste and the ability to discriminate ice cream on the basis of energy levels made the difference on the body fat between the two groups. Perhaps this is one the explanations offered over how CLA helps fight body weight through changed eating patterns.

The third experiment, studying the relationship between CLA isomers and fatty acid synthase (FAS), was aimed at establishing the benefits of CLA towards fighting cancer. The results revealed that CLA can help fight breast, colon and prostrate cancer by inhibiting their proliferation. The 10,12 CLA isomers inhibited the fatty acid synthase from expressing itself. Since cancer cells use fatty acid synthase as a source of energy, interrupting its production and inhibiting its enzyme activities denies them a source of energy and either slows or stops their proliferation.

Conclusion

Conjugated linoleic acid has sparked a lot of discussions over its role in fighting weight. Many researchers continue to differ on how this happens but from different research projects, it is evident that it does have an effect on body fat. It is also believed to play an important role in improving immunity and helping with metabolism. Other important benefits include influencing one’s eating habits and fighting cancer and diabetes.

From the research projects analyzed above, it is evident that CLA has an important role in fighting cancer. Its isomers inhibit cancer cells proliferation and minimize the rate at which they grow. It is also evident that including CLA in everyday diet influences one’s energy consumption by influencing the taste of foods and amount required for satisfaction. CLA has an influence on body fat, evident from the fact that participants who had CLA included in their diet during the experiment registered low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decreased cholesterol.

Works cited

Kamphuis, Marleen, Wim Saris, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “The Effect of Addition of Linoleic Acid on Food Intake Regulation in Linoleic Acid Tasters and Linoleic Acid Non-Tasters.” British Journal of Nutrition 90 (2003):199-206. Print.

Kiefer, Dale. CLA Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid. New York: Life Extension, 2005. Print.

Lau, Dominic and Michael Archer. “The 10t, 12C Isomer of Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibits Fatty Acid Synthase Expression and Enzyme Activity in Human Breast, Colon, and Prostrate Cancer Cells.” Nutrition and Cancer 62.1 (2010): 116-121. Print.

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