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Contains at least 28 isomers of linoleic acids derived from ruminants in the meat and dairy products. It is marketed as a dietary supplement because of its healthy benefits.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid Biochemistry
Conjugated Linoleic Acid was noticed for the first time in 1979 by researchers who found it in mice to chemically inhibit cancer. The research was continued. United States Food and Drug Administration in 2008 declared the acid as safe. The most abundant isomers were c9 t11 – rumenic acid and t10, c12.
These two isomers have different effects for the health. It is trans fatty and cis fatty acid. The cis fatty acid has a lower melting point and is a different bond from the trans. The linkages in the trans acid are not counted as trans fats, besides some of the isomers are produced by microorganisms in the rudiments of ruminants.
Humans produce vaccenic acid which is converted to conjugated linoleic acids by delta 9 desaturase. In the human bodies, the conjugated linoleic acid isomers are bioconverted from linoleic and alpha linoleic acid by the bacteria Bifidobacterium in the gastrointestinal tract. The bioconversion may not happen in people with gluten sensitivity, digestive disease, and dysbiosis.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Health
It is marketed as a dietary supplement because of its use in bodybuilding and anti-cancer medication. But the health benefits at humans were never been proven despite the claims of it.
0.5% of conjugated linoleic acids in the human body can reduce the tumors for over 50% like breast tumor, skin, lung, stomach, colorectal.
It also helps with AA (arachidonic acid) inflammation and 5-lipox enzyme without damaging the arteries at those with asthma.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Dietary sources
Ruminants fed with grass are a good source of conjugated linoleic acids, such as beef and mutton. The eggs from chickens are also rich in CLA and linoleic acid in eggs has shown to survive the temperatures present during frying.
Some mushrooms like Agaricus sports are a non-animal source of conjugated linoleic acids. Many products like milk, sunflower, and safflower oil have higher levels of CLA than grass-fed animals.
Conjugated linoleic acid or omega 3 fatty acids increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and metabolism in skeletal muscle cells
Polyunsaturated fatty acids – PUFAs have great roles in the metabolism, inflammation, and signaling. Acids such as eicosapentaenoic – EPA and docosahexaenoic – DHA found in fish reduce the triacylglyceride formation and improve blood lipids with the interaction through sterol regulatory binding protein-1c and X- liver receptor alpha. DHA enhances lipid oxidation and insulin sensitivity in the muscles. The combinations of omega 3 acids increase fat oxidation prevent weight gain; triple the expression of genes that control the mitochondrial biogenesis.
Mitochondrial dysfunction clinically is associated with reduced capacity for fatty acid oxidation, usually related to II type of diabetes and obesity. Some essential stimulators of the mitochondrial biosynthesis increase fatty acid oxidation through activating the peroxisome proliferator receptor. The stimulator is PGC-1α and increases the metabolic rate with the mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. During exercise in the human body is released a hormone called Irisin – in the muscles which increases the metabolic rate through protein induction.
Omega 3 and CLA are responsible for the glucose transport in the glucose metabolism and cellular uptake through the transporter 4 GLUT4. This is an insulin dependent transporter found in muscles and adipocytes.
Appetite suppression, increased fatty acid oxidation, increased fat mobilization are also some of the psychological functions the conjugated linoleic acid has.
It also modifies hormone sensitive lipase and perilipin expression and contributes directly to body composition and prevents fat deposition.
The CLA is naturally found in the dairy products and in the meat and can also be a dietary supplement that helps the people to lose fat, to retain the muscle mass, control of diabetes, obesity and maintaining the weight. Can be also sold as syrup or pill and can be mixed with some food. The capsules broken apart can be mixed with yogurt and can have some bitter taste. It can also prevent some types of cancer and heart disease, and also boost the immune system.
Some of the studies have shown that the linoleic acid can have some opposite effects because if it is taken as a supplement it might not give you the wanted results.
How the linoleic acid actually works?
- Its first activity was discovered in 1987 where the scientists have shown that can help in the fight of cancer in an experiment made in mice. The scientists also discovered that the acid works in the weight loss treatment and in the obesity. It works in the mechanism where the person has to reduce the intake of calories and increase the burning of fat.
The conjugated linoleic acid naturally found has some benefits
- If it is found in ruminants or some fatty meat then it can lower the risk of several types of diseases. The countries that grow cows that eat grass have a lower risk of heart disease because the acid is more found in the meat of these cows.
- The vitamin K2 that is found in the acid and is mainly of the animals fed on grass has a protective function for the human organism.
As a conclusion to all this, we can say that this type of acid can be found naturally and as a supplement, but it is better to use it in a natural form than taking it in the form of some pills. It has a lot of benefits for the human organism and is recommendable to be present in the daily meals.