Full Papers

Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese

Jean-Michel Gaulliera1 c1, Johan Halsea2, Hans Olav Høivika3, Kjetil Høyea3, Christian Syvertsena1, Minna Nurminiemia1, Cecilie Hassfelda1, Alexandra Einerhanda4, Marianne O'Sheaa4 and Ola Gudmundsena1

a1 Link Medical Research AS, Gåsevikveien 8, N-2027 Kjeller, Norway

a2 Diabetes and Overweight Clinic, Pilestredet Park 7, N-0176 Oslo, Norway

a3 Hedmark Medical Center, Grønnegata 54, PO Box 3, N-2303 Hamar, Norway

a4 Lipid Nutrition, division of Loders Croklaan, PO Box 4, 1520 AA, Wormerveer, The Netherlands


Long-term supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces body fat mass (BFM) and increases or maintains lean body mass (LBM). However, the regional effect of CLA was not studied. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of CLA per region and safety in healthy, overweight and obese adults. A total of 118 subjects (BMI: 28–32 kg/m2) were included in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects were randomised into two groups supplemented with either 3·4 g/d CLA or placebo for 6 months. CLA significantly decreased BFM at month 3 (Δ = − 0·9 %, P = 0·016) and at month 6 (Δ = − 3·4 %, P = 0·043) compared with placebo. The reduction in fat mass was located mostly in the legs (Δ = − 0·8 kg, P < 0·001), and in women (Δ = − 1·3 kg, P = 0·046) with BMI >30 kg/m2 (Δ = − 1·9 kg, P = 0·011), compared with placebo. The waist–hip ratio decreased significantly (P = 0·043) compared with placebo. LBM increased (Δ = +0·5 kg, P = 0·049) within the CLA group. Bone mineral content was not affected (P = 0·70). All changes were independent of diet and physical exercise. Safety parameters including blood lipids, inflammatory and diabetogenic markers remained within the normal range. Adverse events did not differ between the groups. It is concluded that supplementation with CLA in healthy, overweight and obese adults decreases BFM in specific regions and is well tolerated.

(Received March 31 2006)

(Revised August 23 2006)

(Accepted October 17 2006)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr J.-M. Gaullier, fax +47.63893211, email j-m@scr.no


Abbreviations: AE, adverse event; AFM, fat mass in arms; ALAT, alanine amino transferase; ALP, alkaline phosphatase; ASAT, aspartate amino transferase; BFM, body fat mass; BMC, bone mineral content; CLA, conjugated linoleic acid; CRP, C-reactive protein; DEXA, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; HbAlc, glucohaemoglobin; LBM, lean body mass; LFM, fat mass in legs; Lp(a), lipoprotein a; PP, per protocol; TFM, fat mass in abdomen (trunk)