Conjugated linoleic acid – CLA, what is it?

Conjugated linoleic acid – CLA, what is it?

Conjugated linoleic acid – CLA is found naturally in many products. It was originally discovered as an anti-cancer component. The largest natural source comes from products derived from ruminants, fat, and milk more precisely. However, some vegetable oils may have a much smaller amount. The fact that they are more present in ruminant milk and fat is due to their good production in the rumen, via bacterial bioconversion, which metabolizes unsaturated fatty acids (such as linoleic and linolenic) to stearic acid. However, a part of CLA escapes the biohydrogenation process and is absorbed in the intestine and incorporated into tissues.

Meet the Lutalin

In this context, CLA refers to a group of geometric isomers (ω-6 fatty acids) with conjugated and positional double bonds of linoleic acid (cis-9, cis-12 18:2). The structural difference between linoleic acid and CLA is that the second’s double bonds are separated by only a single bond, which makes it conjugated. There are numerous positional isomers of CLA, and distinguishing each one is important as they can have different activities within the organism.

Technical Results

Surek et al. (2011) concluded that the supply of CLA can increase daily weight gain – GMD, improve lean meat yield and reduce fat thickness, when used in pig diets, without changing the water retention capacity.

Andreta et al. (2009) concluded that the use of conjugated linoleic acid as a nutritional additive in diets for growing pigs does not alter animal performance. However, the addition of conjugated linoleic acid increases the lean meat content in the carcass and reduces the backfat thickness, without influencing the meat quality in pigs.

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SUREK, D. et al. Ácido linoléico conjugado, na nutrição de suínos, sobre desempenho zootécnico, características de carcaça e rendimento de cortes. Tecnologia de Alimentos • Cienc. Rural 41 (12) • Dez 2011. Disponível em: <>

ANDRETA, I. et al. Meta‑análise do uso de ácido linoleico conjugado na alimentação de suínos. Pesq. agropec. bras., Brasília, v.44, n.7, p.754-760, jul. 2009. Disponível em: < file:///C:/Users/Pedro/Downloads/2048-34135-1-PB.pdf>


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