Resistance-Associated Cardiovascular Disease: Potential Benefits of CLA.
Type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular disease have reached global epidemic proportions. Recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes indicate that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes, accounting for 52% of deaths. Though insulin resistance plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes-related cardiovascular disease, other related risk factors often cluster in the same patient as what is termed the Metabolic Syndrome. According to the WHO definition, this constellation of risk factors includes hypertension, elevated plasma triglycerides, reduced HDL cholesterol, central obesity, and microalbuminuria. The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) demonstrated that whereas diabetes/insulin resistance is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, these other components of the Metabolic Syndrome confer additive risk. Thus, to effectively address cardiovascular disease in diabetics, intervention would ideally target all of these factors. Conjugated linoleic acid may represent such a candidate agent. The therapeutic potential of conjugated linoleic acid on insulin resistance-associated cardiovascular disease will be discussed, based on its reported effects on individual components of the Metabolic Syndrome.