Essential to the Human Diet
Linoleic Acid is an unsaturated fatty acid, considered essential to the human diet. It is an important component of drying oils, such as linseed oil.
Two polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that cannot be made in the body are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. They must be provided by diet and are known as essential fatty acids.
In the body PUFAs are important for maintaining the membranes of all cells; for making prostaglandins which regulate many body processes which include inflammation and blood clotting. Another requirement for fat in the diet is to enable the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K to be absorbed from food; and for regulating body cholesterol metabolism.
CLA has also been shown in numerous studies to reduce body fat while increasing lean muscle mass.
While the only way to get CLA in food is through meat and dairy products, it has been shown that CLA content in our food has decreased by 60 percent over the past 40 years. This is due to the current feeding practices of cattle farms.
The RDA for Linoleic Acid is unknown.
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