Journal Article

The efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid in mammary cancer prevention is independent of the level or type of fat in the diet

Clement Ip, Stephanie P. Briggs, Albert D. Haegele, Henry J. Thompson, Jayne Storkson and Joseph A. Scimeca

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 5, pages 1045-1050
Published in print May 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
The efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid in mammary cancer prevention is independent of the level or type of fat in the diet

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The objective of the present study was to investigate whether the anticarcinogenic activity of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is affected by the amount and composition of dietary fat consumed by the host Because the anticancer agent of interest is a fatty acid, this approach may provide some insight into its mechanism of action, depending on the outcome of these fat feeding experiments. For the fat level experiment, a custom formulated fat blend was used that simulates the fatty acid composition of the US diet This fat blend was present at 10, 133, 16.7 or 20% by weight in the diet For the fat type experiment, a 20% (w/w) fat diet containing either corn oil (exclusively) or lard (predominantly) was used. Mammary cancer prevention by CLA was evaluated using the rat dimethylbenz[a]anthra-cene model. The results indicated that the magnitude of tumor inhibition by 1% CLA was not influenced by the level or type of fat in the diet It should be noted that these fat diets varied markedly in their content of linoleate. Fatty acid analysis showed that CLA was incorporated predominantly in mammary tissue neutral lipids, while the increase in CLA in mammary tissue phospholipids was minimal. Furthermore, there was no evidence that CLA supplementation perturbed the distribution of linoleate or other fatty acids in the phospholipid fraction. Collectively these carcinogenesis and biochemical data suggest that the cancer preventive activity of CLA is unlikely to be mediated by interference with the metabolic cascade involved in converting linoleic acid to eicosanoids. The hypothesis that CLA might act as an antioxidant was also examined. Treatment with CLA resulted in lower levels of mammary tissue malondialdehyde (an end product of lipid peroxida-tion), but failed to change the levels of 8-hydroxydeoxygu-anosine (a marker of oxidatively damaged DNA). Thus while CLA may have some antioxidant function in vivo in suppressing lipid peroxidation, its anticarcinogenic activity cannot be accounted for by protecting the target cell DNA against oxidative damage. The finding that the inhibitory effect of CLA maximized at 1 % (regardless of the availability of linoleate in the diet) could conceivably point to a limiting step in the capacity to metabolize CLA to some active product(s) which is essential for cancer prevention.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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