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Oil extracts from bitter lemon seeds promoted weight loss and decreased fat cell size in mice fed a high-fat diet— according to a three-week study led by Li Xu from the Hefei University of Technology in China. Bitter lemon extract is high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Bitter melon extract increased fat use and increased energy expenditure. Researchers are not sure why CLA promotes fat loss, but it might trigger fat cell death, shrink fat cells or speed metabolism. CLA may have long-term side effects. Ohio State researchers, in a study on genetically obese mice, found that CLA caused insulin resistance, blood vessel inflammation and hepatic steatosis (fatty liver). The long-term health effects of CLA or bitter lemon extract in humans are unknown. (Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, published online)