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Linoleic acid

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 19, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Linoleic Acid


Linoleic acid, or LA, is a carboxylic acid that appears as a colorless liquid at room temperature. It is also considered as an essential fatty acid that is needed in the many metabolic processes in the human body to promote growth and development. It is widely recognized that Linoleic acid is an omega 6 essential fatty acid that is found in all cell membranes of the human body.
Linoleic acid has many benefits and it has been found to be very accepted in the treatment of weight loss and in muscle building techniques.

History and Origin

The name Linoleic originated from the Greek word linon which means flax, and oleic which means relating to or derived from olives. Linoleic acid has an 18 carbon chain with 2 double cis bonds.
In physiology, Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid and is found in the lipid part of cell membranes of every cell in the human body. Health experts believe that Linoleic acid must be part of a healthy regular diet and is important in the body’s health and proper development.

Ancient Uses

Linoleic acid is unheard of during ancient times but major sources of Linoleic acid like meats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and other plant oil sources were used as staple foods of many ancient cultures all around the world.

Modern Uses

In the therapeutic use of Linoleic acid, it has been further altered to make conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. This is done to further use the Linoleic properties in reducing body fat and increase its efficiency in development of muscles.

Thus CLA is used as an effective weight loss treatment. There are various conjugated Linoleic acid supplements in the market that is used mainly for weight loss. CLA also helps suppress appetite by acting on the hormones leptin and resistin. CLA is also seen to be more effective in reducing adipose tissue seen in highly obese people.

Muscle building supplements also use conjugated Linoleic acid to promote efficient muscle growth by increasing circulation of hormones that increase blood supply to muscles tissue.
There are also studies that have been done regarding the ability of conjugated Linoleic acid in the prevention of certain cancers such as breast, lung and prostrate cancers but no supportive data has been evaluated yet. Linoleic acid contains antioxidants that make it an ideal candidate to help prevent cancer and growth of tumors.
CLA is also proven to increase the body’s metabolic rate to achieve weight loss faster and safer. It is also used in conjunction with thyroid treatments as well.

Side Effects

Linoleic acid and CLA supplements are safe when used accordingly. Never self medicate or use any weight loss products with Linoleic acid without medical supervision.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women must not take conjugated Linoleic acid preparations. There are no studies regarding the safety of Linoleic acid for young children so it is best to avoid use.
Diabetics and people with metabolic syndromes must avoid using supplements with Linoleic acid since it may worsen their symptoms. Always consult a doctor regarding the use of Linoleic acid for your illness since it may have adverse reactions with your current medications.

Read also: Myrrh Gum

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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