Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Atherosclerosis

Influence of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) on Establishment and Progression of Atherosclerosis in Rabbits

David Kritchevsky, PhD, Shirley A. Tepper, Scott Wright, Patrick Tso, PhD, and Susanne K. Czarnecki, PhD

The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (D.K., S.A.T., S.W.), Department of Pathology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (P.T.), Department of Chemistry, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (S.K.C.) E-mail:

Objective: To determine effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on establishment and progression of experimentally-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.

Methods: For establishment of atherosclerosis, New Zealand White rabbits were fed a semipurified diet containing 0.1% to 0.2% cholesterol for 90 days Some groups were fed diet and CLA. For effects on progression of atherosclerosis, rabbits with established atherosclerosis were fed a semipurified diet ± CLA for 90 days.

Results: At dietary levels as low as 0.1%, CLA inhibited atherogenesis. At dietary levels of 1%, CLA caused substantial (30%) regression of established atherosclerosis. This is the first example of substantial regression of atherosclerosis being caused by diet alone.

Conclusion: Dietary CLA is an effective inhibitor of atherogenesis and also causes regression of established atherosclerosis.

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