OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of two different conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers at two different intakes on body composition in overweight humans. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Eighty-one middle-aged, overweight, healthy men and women participated in this bicentric, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study. For 6 weeks (run-in period), all subjects consumed daily a drinkable dairy product containing 3 g of high oleic acid sunflower oil. Volunteers were then randomized over five groups receiving daily either 3 g of high oleic acid sunflower oil, 1.5 g of cis-9,trans-11 (c9t11) CLA, 3 g of c9t11 CLA, 1.5 g of trans-10,cis-12 (t10c12) CLA, or 3 g of t10c12 CLA administrated as triacylglycerol in a drinkable dairy product for 18 weeks. Percentage body fat mass and fat and lean body mass were assessed at the end of the run-in and experimental periods by DXA. Dietary intake was also recorded. RESULTS: Body fat mass changes averaged 0.1 +/- 0.9 kg (mean +/- SD) in the placebo group and -0.3 +/- 1.4, -0.8 +/- 2.1, 0.0 +/- 2.3, and -0.9 +/- 1.7 kg in the 1.5-g c9t11, 3-g c9t11, 1.5-g t10c12, and 3-g t10c12 groups, respectively. Changes among the groups were not significantly different (p = 0.444). Also, lean body mass and dietary intake were not significantly different among the treatments. DISCUSSION: A daily consumption of a drinkable dairy product containing up to 3 g of CLA isomers for 18 weeks had no statistically significant effect on body composition in overweight, middle-aged men and women.