Researchers at the Penn State Center of Excellence in Nutrigenomics have discovered that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can be used to treat diabetes in mice. And so far, early trial results in humans look promising, too.

If the research proves out, CLA could become another treatment option for diabetes.

The researchers started testing their hypothesis with CLA and diabetes when they learned that CLA effects circulating cholesterol and inflammation — the same as synthetic drugs used to treat diabetes in humans. The results, from the study with mice, showed that CLA does improve insulin action and decrease circulating glucose.

More research is needed to confirm the results. At this point the researchers suggest CLA should probably be taken as a supplement, or to eat food products enriched with CLA such as butter, margarine and ice cream.

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