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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) refers to a class of positional and geometrical isomers of linoleic acid (cis-9, cis-12 octadecadienoic acid) having conjugate double bond system. CLA are synthesized in rumen of the ruminants by biohydrogenation of dietary fatty acids; and thus, can be obtained from dairy products as well as from the meat of sheep, lamb and other ruminants. Among the several isomers, c9, t11-CLA isomer is the most biologically active form and accounts approximately 80% of total isomers. A number of clinical and epidemiological studies have demonstrated the role of CLA as anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, etc. Several researchers have suggested the positive association of CLA in weight management, hypercholesterolemia, immunomodulatory functions, and improved bone metabolism.
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