CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a group of omega-6 fatty acids, of which there are 28 different varieties. A few of them are associated with health benefits. This is the case with the following two types, Trans-10,Cis-12 and Cis-9,Trans-11
The healthy CLA types are found naturally in meat (from ruminants) and dairy products (especially those with high fat content). In order to obtain optimal levels of CLA, the animals must graze, as this causes their gut bacteria to convert linoleic acid to CLA.
Functions and importance for
- Transportation of fat to the energy conversion in muscle cells
- To prevent fat cells from taking up fat
- Insulin sensitivity
- Building of muscle mass
- To reduce the age-related loss of muscle mass
- Regulate the balance between fat and muscle tissue in the body
Deficiencies and poor utilsation may be caused by
- Alterations of feed during periods where the animals do not graze
- Low-fat dairy and meat products
Not described, but the combination of too little CLA and lack of exercise may lead to:
- Impaired fat burning capacity
- Loss of muscle mass
Meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy from animals that have grazed may contain up to 500% more CLA than products from animals that are fed with hay, silage, and grain.