• adipose;
  • bone mineral density;
  • conjugated linoleic acid;
  • fatty acids;
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation decreases adipose mass and increases bone mass in mice. Recent clinical studies demonstrate a beneficial effect of CLA on reducing weight and adipose mass in humans. This article reviews possible biological mechanisms of action of CLA on bone metabolism, focusing on modulation of nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma activity to steer mesenchymal stem cell differentiation toward an adipose and away from an osteoblast lineage. Clinical studies of the effects of CLA on bone mass and clinical implications of the effects of CLA on bone health in humans are summarized and discussed.