Conjugated linoleic acid is a group of isomers of linoleic acid. It is thought that the two most metabolically active of these isomers are cis9, trans11 and trans10, cis12. It is becoming clear that these isomers may have quite different metabolic effects. In one study researchers fed rats a high fat diet to induce detrimental metabolic changes, and then they were subsequently fed either cis9, trans11 or trans10, cis12 conjugated linoleic acid. The results of the study showed that cis9, trans11 conjugated linoleic acid reduced mitochondrial efficiency and oxidative stress and increased levels of palmitoylethanolamide and oleylethanolamide (two signal molecules), whereas trans10, cis12 preferentially decrease inflammation through activation of the PPARα/AMPK/pAKT signaling pathway. This supports evidence from other studies that conjugated linoleic acid isomers have differential effects on animals, and that these effects appear to be beneficial with respect to the cis9, trans11 and trans10, cis12 isomers.
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