Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that has recently been shown to have several beneficial effects on different diseases, including prevention of bone loss. The important feature of CLA is to reduce fat mass, thereby reducing body weight significantly. Although loss of body weight is known to increase bone loss, there is increasing evidence that CLA maybe beneficial to bone. Another factor that can reduce body weight is exercise (EX). It is well established that moderate EX stimulates bone formation. In this study, we analyzed the changes in bone using pQCT densitometry in middle-aged C57Bl/6 mice fed CLA (0.5%) and/or exercised. Twelve-month-old mice were divided into the following groups: group 1, corn oil, sedentary (CO SED); group 2, corn oil, exercise (CO EX); group 3, CLA, sedentary (CLA SED); and group 4, CLA, exercise (CLA EX). Mice were maintained in the respective experimental regimens for 10 weeks, after which mice were scanned using DEXA and killed. The lumbar vertebrae, femur, and tibia were analyzed using pQCT densitometry. CLA, when given alone or in combination with EX, significantly reduced body weight and increased lean mass. CLA treatment also significantly increased bone mass. Further, additional increase in bone mass was observed in mice treated with a combination of CLA and EX in almost all the bone sites analyzed. We conclude that CLA, when consumed as a dietary supplement along with moderate treadmill EX, significantly increases bone mass in middle-aged female mice.
- Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.