Linoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid with the chemical composition of C17H31COOH. It is important to our body and is mainly supplied by drying oils, such as linseed oil. Conjugated linoleic acid is chemically a mixture of linoleic acid isomers with conjugated double bonds.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement that is increasingly being promoted as weight loss agent. It is also found to be helpful in preventing heart ailments, diabetes and cancer. Conjugated linoleic acid is abundantly present in the milk and meat of cattle such as cows, sheep and goats. It is found to occur in twenty different chemical configurations.
Each of these isomers is found to have different effects when administered on our body. However, we need to wait for more research findings in order to make finalisations regarding its precise health benefits.
Many obsess people have already started the intake of conjugated linoleic acid in the hope of bringing down their weight. Experts opine that in most cases, it seems to have appositive effect as well. But, they add thus: “We’re not sure what else it does to the body”. Studies in rodents are going on to get a clearer picture regarding its additional effects on human body.
Human body is incapable of producing conjugated linoleic acid and need to be supplied through dietary intakes such as whole milk, butter, beef, and lamb. However, it is now being made available commercially as dietary supplements. So far, studies in this regard have shown promising health benefits.
A recent study indicated that it positively reduces fat and preserves muscle tissue. The study cam e up with the finding that an average reduction of six pounds of body fat could be achieved in the group that took conjugated linoleic acid, as against the placebo group which did not take the acid.