Conjugated Linoleic Acid Health Benefits
Conjugated linoleic acid health benefits include an ability to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Although conjugated linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid, which tends to have inflammatory actions, its activities mimic the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in some respects.
For example, the potent antioxidant properties of conjugated linoleic acid may be at least partly responsible for the effectiveness it has demonstrated against cancer and obesity. However, conjugated linoleic acid health benefits regarding heart disease and cholesterol are mixed. (Mitchell 2008; Bermudez 2009)
Scientists at Harvard Medical School study explored the anticancer activities of conjugated linoleic acid in prostate cancer cell lines. The authors published the results of their study in Cancer Letters. They noted that CLA contains two active isomers (two or more substances composed of the same elements but that differ in properties) that were moderately effective against prostate cancer cells. (Palombo 2002)
At the University of California, Davis, researchers found that conjugated linoleic acid preparations enriched in isomers inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cell lines. (Kelly 2007) Thus far no human clinical trials have been conducted using CLA in patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer or other types of cancer. However, the results of laboratory studies suggest conjugated linoleic acid health benefits may extend to having a role in fighting prostate cancer.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that is found mainly in dairy and beef products. These foods are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. There are some other cautions concerning conjugated linoleic acid as well. Side effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplements may include diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and stomach upset. Some evidence suggests that taking conjugated linoleic acid can make diabetes worse. CLA may also increase the risk of developing diabetes if you have metabolic syndrome. (WebMD)
Bermudez Menendez de la Granda M, Sinclair AJ. Fatty acids and obesity. Curr Pharm Des 2009; 15(36): 4117-25
Kelley NS et al. Conjugated linoleic acid isomers and cancer. J Nutr 2007 Dec; 137(12): 2599-607
Mitchell PL, McLeod RS. Conjugated linoleic acid and atherosclerosis: studies in animal models. Biochem Cell Biol 2008 Aug; 86(4): 293-301
Palombo JD et al. The antiproliferative effects of biologically active isomers of conjugated linoleic acid on human colorectal and prostatic cancer cells. Cancer Lett 2002 Mar 28; 177(2): 163-72
WebMD, information on conjugated linoleic acid health benefits: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-826