Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2002


Published in 2002 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


In two studies mice were fed diets containing either a mixture of, or individual conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers in the presence or absence of essential fatty acids. Mice fed the C18:2 Δ10,12 CLA isomer lost as much body fat as those fed a mixture of isomers. This effect was not caused by the C18:2 Δ9,11 isomer (predominant in beef) or by restricted feed intake. The loss was much greater in mice consuming an essential fatty acid deficient diet versus a control diet. This supports our hypothesis that for CLA to deplete body fat, it must first be metabolized in a manner similar to linoleic acid. Furthermore, we suggest that the loss of body fat may be mediated by metabolism of CLA to an isomer of arachidonic acid.