This study aimed to determine the effect of supplementation with conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) plus n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs) on body composition, adiposity, and hormone levels in young and older, lean and obese men. Young (31.4 +/- 3.9 years) lean (BMI, 23.6 +/- 1.5 kg/m(2); n = 13) and obese (BMI, 32.4 +/- 1.9 kg/m(2); n = 12) and older (56.5 +/- 4.6 years) lean (BMI, 23.6 +/- 1.5 kg/m(2); n = 20) and obese (BMI, 32.0 +/- 1.6 kg/m(2); n = 14) men participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled, randomized crossover study. Subjects received either 6 g/day control fat or 3 g/day CLA (50:50 cis-9, trans-11:trans-10, cis-12) and 3 g/day n-3 LC-PUFA for 12 weeks with a 12-week wash-out period between crossovers. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Fasting adiponectin, leptin, glucose, and insulin concentrations were measured and insulin resistance estimated by homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). In the younger obese subjects, CLA plus n-3 LC-PUFA supplementation compared with control fat did not result in increased abdominal fat and raised both fat-free mass (2.4%) and adiponectin levels (12%). CLA plus n-3 LC-PUFA showed no significant effects on HOMA-IR in any group but did increase fasting glucose in older obese subjects. In summary, supplementation with CLA plus n-3 LC-PUFA prevents increased abdominal fat mass and raises fat-free mass and adiponectin levels in younger obese individuals without deleteriously affecting insulin sensitivity, whereas these parameters in young and older lean and older obese individuals were unaffected, apart from increased fasting glucose in older obese men.