CLA Isomer Affects Body Weight, Diabetes Symptoms

March 3, 2003

2 Min Read
CLA Isomer Affects Body Weight, Diabetes Symptoms

CLA Isomer Affects Body Weight, Diabetes Symptoms

COLUMBUS, Ohio--The t10,c12 isomer of conjugatedlinoleic acid (CLA) may be responsible for the nutrient's beneficial effect onbody weight in subjects with Type II diabetes, according to Martha Belury andcolleagues from Ohio State University. Their double blind trial was printed inthe January issue of the Journal of Nutrition (133, 1:257S-260S, 2003) (

In their original hypothesis, researchers suggested there wouldbe an inverse association of CLA with body weight and levels of serum leptin (ahormone that is thought to regulate fat levels) in subjects with Type IIdiabetes. To test this theory, researchers randomly assigned 21 subjects toreceive either a supplement containing mixed CLA isomers or one containingsafflower oil, which was used as the control.

After eight weeks on this regimen, results indicated that plasmalevels of the t10,c12 CLA isomer--but not the c9,t11 isomer--were inverselyassociated with body weight and serum leptin levels. Researchers concluded theirfindings "strongly suggest that the t10,c12 CLA isomer may be the bioactiveisomer of CLA to influence the body weight changes observed in subjects withType II diabetes."

They added additional study will be needed to determine if acausal relationship exists between the specific isomers of CLA and themodulation of body weight and composition. And, they stated future research willbe required to understand CLA's role in the management of Type II diabetes andother insulin-related disease--specifically, to determine the ability of the CLAisomers to influence glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as markers of insulinsensitivity.

Additional results from the study indicated CLA affected othersymptoms of diabetes. Namely, the majority of those in the treatment group (nineof 11 subjects) exhibited a nearly five-fold decrease in fasting blood glucoselevels compared to two subjects in the control group. And, the average weightloss in the CLA group was 3.5 pounds compared to no change in body weight in thecontrol group.

"In previous work, we found that CLA delayed the onset ofdiabetes in rats," Belury said in a news piece from Ohio State University,where she is an associate professor of human nutrition. "In this study, wefound that it also helped improve the management of adult-onset diabetes inhumans."

This research received support from Lake Bluff, Ill.-basedPharmanutrients and Chicago-based Natural Inc., producers of CLA.

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