Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been associated with decreased body fat in many animal studies and some human trials. Exactly how it works to reduce fat remains unclear. In this study, investigators examined the fate of circulating fat by looking at an important enzyme that diverts fat to adipose tissue and muscle. This enzyme is called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Animals given CLA had a significant increase in muscle LPL and a significant decrease in LPL. This means that CLA diverts fat away from adipose tissue and toward muscle where it can be potentially burned. Thus, CLA partitions fat away from storage in adipose tissue.

Moya-Camarena SY, et al. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) modulates lipoprotein lipase and apolipoprotein CIII mRNA accumulation in muscle and adipose tissue in mice. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Washington D.C., April, 2004. Abstract #356.19.