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Supplementation With Conjugated Linoleic Acid May Prove Important In Prevention and Treatment

  [ 52 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • May 15, 2002

LAKE BLUFF, Ill., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In a study published in Cancer
Letters, an international scientific journal, researchers at Harvard Medical
School have identified molecular components in the dietary supplement
conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as potentially influential in the reduction of
colorectal and prostatic cancer cells.

A naturally occurring fatty acid found primarily in milk, beef and dairy
products, CLA is part of the omega-6 fatty acid family. Its mechanism of
action, however, mimics that of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil, which
have been proven to have significant health benefits. Mounting scientific
evidence now suggests that some omega-6 dietary fatty acids, such as CLA, can
inhibit tumor growth and proliferation of human cancer cells.

"There are specific isomers within CLA that exhibit an inhibitory effect
on cancer proliferation," says Dr. John Palombo, Assistant Professor of
Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

He notes that CLA contains two molecular components, or active isomers, which
exhibited the greatest potency against colorectal cancer cells in his studies.
Both isomers were also shown to be moderately effective against prostatic
cancer cells. The specific CLA studied was the CLA One brand from
PharmaNutrients, Inc., Lake Bluff, Illinois.

Encouraging results from the in vitro study have increased scientific
interest in the possible use of CLA and other nutrition and natural
interventions as a safe and effective adjuvant therapeutic agent against
cancer versus aggressive pharmacological therapy that has attending adverse
side effects.

Palombo cautioned that CLA should be studied further. "These in vitro
results indicate that the cancer-reducing properties of CLA or its constituent
isomers are not equivalent. The net reduction in cancer cell proliferation
appears to be dependent upon the type and concentration of CLA isomer used. A
better understanding of novel CLA preparations and their constituent isomers
is required before initiating intervention (human clinical) trials of CLA in
patients undergoing treatment of colorectal and prostate cancer, as well as
individuals at risk for these cancers."

Other research to date suggests CLA may also help maintain a healthy heart
and veins, maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, act as an
anti-oxidant and possess anti-atherogenic properties. Recent human studies
appear to indicate positive effects in helping to control plasma lipids, blood
glucose and body weight when used in conjunction with diet and exercise.

Founded in 1994, PharmaNutrients, Inc. is a leading provider of
proprietary, human-study validated, nutritional bioactive ingredients and
technologies to the nutrients, food and pharmaceutical industries. For
research data, product sales by country, or more information about the
PharmaNutrients line of products and services, visit .

CANCER LETTERS is a journal providing rapid publication of brief articles
in the broad area of cancer research. The journal places emphasis on the
molecular and cell biology of cancer, oncogenes, carcinogenesis, radiation
biology, molecular pathology, hormones and cancer, viral oncology, biology of
cancer and metastasis, molecular cytogenetics, epidemiology; and experimental
therapeutics. For information, visit .

The cited study by Palombo et al was published in the March 28th issue (volume
177, pages 163 - 172, 2002).

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