Although excess fat in the diet is generally associated with being unhealthy, it appears that not all fats are bad, and some can be very beneficial. Consider some of the health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). It has been shown that when animals were exposed to a
cancer-causing compound while fed a diet containing increasing amounts of CLA, there were fewer tumors in the animals that received the most CLA.
Surprisingly,CLA's ability to inhibit tumor formation also occurred in animals that were fed a high-fat diet. Additionally, CLA was also able to after body composition. When rats were fed a diet rich in CLA, there was a 60% reduction in bodyfat and a 5-14% increase in lean body mass, CLA can also help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Animals fed a high-cholesterol diet containing CLA had less cholesterol deposited on the walls of their arteries. This may be due to the fact that atherosclerosis is directly related to the amount of oxidative modification that occurs to low-density proteins (LDL). And since CLA is more resistant to oxidation, it may have a protective effect on LDL.
It is estimated that the average daily consumption of CLA is 1g, but should be increased to at least 3.5g per person per day.