Monograph: Conjugated Linoleic Acid

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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLA) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient. It is a referenced document to be used as a labelling standard. Note: (i) Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label at the applicant's discretion. The solidus (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms or that the statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant. (ii) There is insufficient evidence to support the use of Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as a weight loss aid. Consumers wishing to achieve weight loss should consult a health care practitioner prior to taking CLA. (iii) The use of the term "may" in the use or purpose statements reflects the uncertainty of the evidence. For example, some reviews have concluded that CLA does not significantly affect body fat mass. (iv) The claim "May help to support a modest improvement to body composition" refers to evidence showing that CLA may modestly reduce body fat. Weak evidence also demonstrates that CLA may help to modestly increase lean muscle mass. (v) The recommendations for decreased caloric intake and increased physical activity are included as components of the use or purpose statements in order to provide a health context. (vi) Though CLA has been administered to subjects for up to two years, there is insufficient evidence to support any benefits beyond 6 months. As such, a duration of use of 6 months has been included on the monograph. (vii) CLA does not exert positive effects on any health risk biomarkers (e.g. LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, plasma glucose, plasma insulin, etc.) and there is some evidence to suggest that its use may be unsafe in particular subpopulations. As such, mandatory risk information is required on the PLA and label to identify subpopulations at risk.
Date: 2018-07-31

NHPID name

Conjugated linoleic acid ( ChemIDplus Advanced )

Proper name(s)

Conjugated linoleic acid ( Pariza 2004 , Pariza et al. 2001 )

Common name(s)

Source material

In the triacylglycerol form and the free fatty acid form, CLA is derived from processed safflower or sunflower oil.

Route Of administration


Dosage form(s)

Use(s) or purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:




3 - 5 Grams per day

Directions for use: Take with food.

Duration of use

Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/physician, for use beyond 6 months.  (Watras et al. 2007, Gaullier et al. 2005, Gaullier et al. 2004)

Risk information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s): Contraindication(s): Known Adverse Reaction(s): Some people may experience gastrointestinal upset.  (Gaullier et al. 2007, Pinkoski et al. 2006, Berven et al. 2000, Blankson et collab 2000)

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural health products ingredients database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


References cited

References reviewed