Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2001


Published in 2001 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane Reese, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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Feeding mixed isomers of linoleic acid with conjugated double bonds (CLA) reduces body fat in several species, including pigs. To learn about the mechanism involved, we fed CLA to sexually mature mice at 0, 1 and 2% of the diet for 5, 12 and 14 days. Dietary CLA reduced body fat by nearly 50% but did not reduce body weight. Mice fed CLA also experienced programmed death (apoptosis) of fat cells. This implicates a new mechanism (fat cell death) by which CLA reduces body fat without reducing lean. The effectiveness of feeding CLA for as few as five days may indicate that benefits could be obtained in pigs by feeding CLA for a short duration at the conclusion of the finishing phase.