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Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans: effects on circulating leptin concentrations and appetite.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been demonstrated to reduce body fat in animals. However, the mechanism by which this reduction occurs is unknown. Leptin may mediate the effect of CLA to decrease body fat. We assessed the effects of 64 d of CLA supplementation (3 g/d) on circulating leptin, insulin, glucose, and lactate concentrations in healthy women. Appetite was assessed as a physiological correlate of changes in circulating leptin levels. Analysis of plasma leptin concentrations adjusted for adiposity by using fat mass as a covariate showed that CLA supplementation significantly decreased circulating leptin concentrations in the absence of any changes of fat mass. Mean leptin levels decreased over the first 7 wk and then returned to baseline levels over the last 2 wk of the study in the CLA-treated group. Appetite parameters measured at around the time when the greatest decreases in leptin levels were observed showed no significant differences between supplementation and baseline determinations in the CLA-supplemented group or between the CLA and placebo-supplemented groups. There was a nonsignificant trend for mean insulin levels to increase toward the end of the supplementation period in CLA-treated subjects. CLA did not affect plasma glucose and lactate over the treatment period. Thus, 64 d of CLA supplementation in women produced a transient decrease in leptin levels but did not alter appetite. CLA did not affect these parameters in a manner that promoted decreases of adiposity.

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