Aim of study The purpose of the study was to evaluate hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic activities of conjugated linolenic acid (CLnA) isomers, present in bitter gourd and snake gourd seed, in terms of amelioration of plasma lipid profile, lipoprotein oxidation and erythrocyte membrane fluidity after oral administration. Methods Male albino rats were divided into six groups. Group 1 was control, and others were induced with oxidative stress by oral gavage of sodium arsenite (Sa). Group 2 was kept as treated control, and groups 3-6 were further treated with different oral doses of seed oils to maintaining definite concentration of CLnA isomers (0.5 and 1.0% of total lipid for each CLnA isomer). Results CLnA isomers normalized cholesterol, LDLcholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride contents in plasma and body weight of experimental rats and decreased cholesterol synthesis by reducing hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity. Administration of Sa caused alteration in erythrocyte membrane fluidity due to increase in cholesterol and decrease in phospholipid content. Tissue cholesterol and lipid contents were also increased by Sa administration. These altered parameters were reversed by experimental oil administration. Protective effect of CLnA isomers on erythrocyte morphology was observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membrane showed decrease in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and increase in arachidonic acid content after Sa administration, which was normalized with the treatment of these oils. Supplementation of CLnA isomers restored erythrocyte membrane (EM) lipid peroxidation and lipoprotein oxidation. Conclusion CLnA isomers, present in vegetable oils, showed potent hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic activities against biochemical perturbations. © Springer-Verlag 2011.