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What Is Oleic Acid?

Oleic acid is a kind of fatty acid. It is naturally extracted from plants and in some animals. It can also be found in some egg and butter substitutes.

Oleic Acid is mono unsaturated, and is ranked as a “healthy fat.” It can help control a person’s cholesterol levels and increase the “good” cholesterol” or high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) while lowering the “bad cholesterol” or low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). There is also signs that oleic acid can actually help slow down the progress of heart disease and even increase the body’s ability to produce anti oxidants.

Oleic Acid also got a lot of media buzz as “Lorenzo’s Oil” – a medication that can help control the progress of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). This disease eats into the body’s myelin sheaths, triggering seuizures and other symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. The condition—and the story of a real-life Lorenzo whose mother discovered the properties of oleic acid in her quest to help her little boy—gained worldwide attention because of a movie of the same name, starring Susan Sarandon. While oleic acid cannot cure ALD, it can help slow down the progress especially if given in the early stages of the disease.

Oleic acid can be found in olive oil, canola oil, and grapeseed oil. These oils can be used for cooking or as a basis for salads and dips. Oleic acid is also a common ingredient in beauty products including moisturizers, specialty cream soups, or even scented body oils. There are also many natural home remedies that make use of olive oil as a facial mask or cleanser.

Featured in Science