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Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names



Conjugated linoleic acid Is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in food products. It has been used to lower body fat. It can be taken as a pill or oil.


3 to 5 grams once daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) —may regulate appetite and improve nutritional statusA1
  • High Blood Pressure —may reduce blood pressure when used with standard treatmentB1
  • Obesity —may lower body fat and improve symptomsD1-D6
  • Rheumatoid arthritis —may ease pain E1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease C1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take conjugated linoleic acid, but constipation and diarrhea may occur. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A1. Ghobadi H, Matin S, et al. The effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on the nutritional status of COPD patients. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016;31(11):2711-2720.

B. High Blood Pressure

B1. Zhao WS, Zhai JJ, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation enhances antihypertensive effects of rampiril in Chinese patients with obesity-related hypertension. Am J Hypertens. 2009;22(6):680-686.

C. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

C1. Ebrahimi-Mameghani M, Jamali H, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid improves glycemic response, lipid profile, and oxidative stress in obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Croat Med J. 2016 Aug 31;57(4):331-342.

D. Obesity

D1. Whigham LD, Watras AC, et al. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(5):1203-11.

D2. Raff M, Tholstrup T, et al. Conjugated linoleic acids reduce body fat in healthy postmenopausal women. J Nutr. 2009 Jul;139(7):1347-1352.

D3. Norris LE, Collene AL, et al. Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):468-476.

D4. Chen SC, Lin YH, et al. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on weight loss and body fat composition in a Chinese population. Nutrition. 2012;28(5):559-565.

D5. López-Plaza B, Bermejo LM, et al. Effects of milk supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid on weight control and body composition in healthy overweight people. Nutr Hosp. 2013 Nov 1;28(6):2090-2098.

D6. Mądry E, Chudzicka-Strugała I, et al. Twelve weeks CLA supplementation decreases the hip circumference in overweight and obese women. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2016 Jan-Mar;15(1):107-113.

E. Rheumatoid Arthritis

E1. Aryaeian N, Shahram F, et al. Effect of conjugated linoleic acids, vitamin E and their combination on the clinical outcome of Iranian adults with active rheumatoid arthritis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2009 Apr;12(1):20-28.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/22/2020