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Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Good or Bad Trans Fat?
Food Composition Analysis (2009)
  • Yeonhwa Park, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Even though trans fatty acids (TFAs) are present in natural sources such as foods from ruminant origins, the development of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil contributed to a significant increase in total TFAs consumption in humans. Currently, TFA consumption is considered to be a risk factor for coronary heart diseases. Researchers are now starting to discover that not all TFAs behave in a similar manner, that is, isomer specificity may be found. Among non-conjugated TFAs, plant originated TFAs (mainly elaidic and linolelaidic acids) are particularly linked to increased risk for coronary heart diseases, while animal originated TFAs (mainly vaccenic acid) are not. Among conjugated TFAs, two major isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12, show distinctive biological activities. A number of clinical trials of CLA with effects on body composition have been reported, but effects on coronary heart disease risk factors have been inconsistent. Meanwhile, safety concerns regarding CLA, in particular isomer specificity, have also been raised. Thus, it is critical to identify isomer specific effects of TFAs on particular risk factors, to determine their health impact.
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Citation Information
Yeonhwa Park. "Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Good or Bad Trans Fat?" Food Composition Analysis Vol. 22S (2009)
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