As consumers are becoming more educated about the importance of improving
body composition not just weight loss, that is, preserving and increasing lean
muscle mass while reducing body fat at the same time, public interest for functional
ingredients, such as conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), that can deliver such
benefits is also growing. Research findings indicate that CLA may be useful in
improving human health in controlling body fat gain and enhancing lean body
mass. Functional foods that are developed with such ingredients could encourage
healthier consumer attitudes toward body image and weight loss. The chapter reviews
current research on mechanism, safety and effectiveness, regulatory details,
and product development issues of CLA. These details provide food developers,
marketers, academic researchers, and health professionals an overview of CLA
and its application in functional foods.
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