Obesity is the most widespread nutritional disease in the United States. Developing effective and safe strategies to manage excess body weight is therefore of paramount importance. One potential strategy to reduce obesity is to consume conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplements containing isomers -9-11 and -10-12, or -10, 12 alone. Proposed antiobesity mechanisms of CLA include regulation of () adipogenesis, () lipid metabolism, () inflammation, () adipocyte apoptosis, () browning or beiging of adipose tissue, and () energy metabolism. However, causality of CLA-mediated responses to body fat loss, particularly the linkage between inflammation, thermogenesis, and energy metabolism, is unclear. This review examines whether CLA's antiobesity properties are due to inflammatory signaling and considers CLA's linkage with lipogenesis, lipolysis, thermogenesis, and browning of white and brown adipose tissue. We propose a series of questions and studies to interrogate the role of the sympathetic nervous system in mediating CLA's antiobesity properties.


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