Palmitoleic acid (IUPAC
name Hexadecenoic acid
is a Ω-7 monounsaturated fatty acid with the molecular formula C16
It is a common constituent of the glycerides of human adipose tissue (fat) and present in all tissues, but generally found in higher concentrations
in the liver. It is biosynthesized from palmitic acid by the action of the enzyme Δ-9 desaturase.
Dietary sources of palmitoleic acid include a variety of
, vegetable oils, and animal oils.
oil and Sea Buckthorn oil are botanical
sources with high concentrations, containing 22% and 40% of palmitoleic acid, respectively.
In a recent study examining the effects of diets high in various fatty acids, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL, "bad cholesterol")
concentrations were similar with palmitoleic and
acids and significantly higher than with
. High density lipoprotein (HDL,
"good cholesterol") was significantly lower with palmitoleic than with
. The study confirms that, at least in
hypercholesterolemic men, a modest increase in
raises LDL cholesterol relative to
even when dietary cholesterol is low. Palmitoleic acid behaves like a
and not a
monounsaturated fatty acid in its effect on LDL cholesterol.