CLA – properties, natural sources and supplements with CLA


Conjugated CLA linoleic acid occurs mainly in animal products – milk, dairy products and meat derived from ruminants.It is one of the best-tested bioactive compounds and has numerous anticancer, anti-atherosclerotic, fatty tissue reduction, immune-boosting and insulin-sensitive effects.The content of CLA in food products depends on many factors, and the way of breeding animals is of key importance.To increase the share of these acids in the diet, you should choose food from traditional small farms.

CLA (conjugated linolic acid) is a fatty acid of animal origin that has 18 carbon atoms in its chain and 2 conjugated double bonds.Coupling means that the double bonds at the carbon atoms are separated by only one single bond.It is a rare property in nature, and in it is considered the uniqueness of CLA, which shows a number of pro-health activities.

It belongs to the group of trans fats, but it should not be equated with very harmful hydrogenated vegetable fats.The trans configuration in CLA acid is formed naturally and has no adverse effects.


CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) – pattern. How is it created?

There are several dozen different CLA isomers, however, they are commonly found 2. The most common varieties contain a double bond at the 9th and 11th carbon, or at the 10th and 12th carbon of the chain, and these are the focus of scientific research on health effects.

The dominant CLA is the cis-9, trans-11 isomer (rumenic acid, rumen acid), which accounts for 80-90% of all CLA isomers in meat and milk, and the second for the frequency of trans-10, cis-12 – 10- 20%.

CLA linoleic acids are produced mainly by ruminant animals.Some of them are formed in the gastrointestinal tract (especially in the rumen) in the presence of appropriate symbiotic bacteria, includingButyryvibrio fibrisolvens.

However, they are mainly produced in the tissues of polyigastric animals and incorporated into the fat contained in their milk, muscles (invisible fat) and between muscles (visible fat).In animals with one stomach there is a synthesis of CLA, but at a much lower level.

This acid is also detected in human body fat and breast milk.Presumably, it is not only supplied with food, but also to some extent produced in the body.

CLA + Green Tea

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) – occurrence. What are the CLA sources?

The main sources of conjugated linoleic acid are meat and milk fat derived from animals chewing cows, sheep, goats, as well as deer and kangaroos.The highest content of the cis-9, trans-11 CLA isomer is characterized by sheep’s milk, but due to the low availability of its products, it is not a significant source of CLA.

CLA is present in the diet mainly due to the consumption of cow’s milk and its products (70% taken from CLA food) and beef (25%).The average intake of CLA acids along with the diet is from 0.5 to 1.5 g / day, which is much less than the suggested dose positively affecting health – about 3 g / day.

The CLA dose having a positive effect on health is about 3 g per day.

The most valuable are products from cows bred in traditional methods and grazed on pastures in spring and summer.In fish and poultry fat, the concentration of conjugated linoleic acid is much smaller, and vegetable oils do not contain it almost at all.

The ability of CLA to produce lactic acid bacteria, so the amount of this acid can increase in fermented milk products, e.g. yogurt and kefir.


You can read also: What is CLA and how does it work?

Posted on: January 8, 2019

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