Oleic acid is a liquid with a pale yellow color and a smell that resembles lard. It is a monounsaturated fatty acid, also known as omega-9. Oils, food fats and the fat deposits of both men and animals are mostly made up of fatty acids. Oleic acid and other monounsaturated fats have a strong structure, so they can be used to preserve food for a longer time. Monounsaturated fats are considered to be healthy and many experts recommend oleic acid for cooking instead of animal fats. For this reason, it is often found as an ingredient in healthy foods.
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Olive oil is one of the most important natural sources for oleic acid. It is also found in the raw olives, but in very low amounts. As the fruits are drained and pressed to produce the oil, several compounds mix and generate a high concentration of oleic acid. The compound is also found in other natural oils, such as grape seed oil or canola oil.
Other important sources for oleic acid and other fatty acids are various seeds and nuts. It is also found in the meat of chicken, turkey and other birds. However, it is not easy to extract the oil from meat or other animal sources, because it is found as a mix of saturated and monounsaturated fats. By contrast, oleic acid is the main component of nuts and plants, so it can be isolated easily.
In the human body, oleic acid is usually a part of the lipids known as triglycerides, which are needed for the production of oil. It has the chemical structure C18H34O2. Triglycerides are involved in the secretion of skin oils and also flow through the blood and contribute to the isolation of fats and glucose in the liver. This fatty acid is well known for its benefits for human health. When it is required for testing, scientists usually separate oleic acid from triglycerides.
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Homeopathic treatments that aim to reduce cholesterol sometimes use omega 9. It can be sourced from natural founds that are rich in it, or ingested as capsules. The choice depends on the amount needed by the patient, as well as the doctor's choice. A mixture that aims to prevent adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), known as Lorenzo's oil, also includes oleic acid as one of the main ingredients. ALD is a serious disease that resembles multiple sclerosis. It is a degenerative condition that begins if the myelin sheaths of the nerves that are part of the main nervous system become damaged. It starts at an early age and usually only affects young boys. Lorenzo's oil can't cure this disease but it is known to delay its symptoms.
Oleic acid is part of the omega essential fatty acids and is known as omega 9. It provides significant health benefits, even if it is not as well-known as some of the other fatty acids. It is found in a number of natural sources, the best are olive oil, avocado, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachio nuts or sesame oil. If the body is well-supplied with both omega 3 and omega 6, it can synthetize omega 9 as well.
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The main beneficial effect of oleic acid is the ability to lower the level of cholesterol. Since cholesterol is now considered to be one of the main causes for a number of cardiovascular diseases, oleic acid can be extremely useful. Oleic acid also reduces insulin resistance, so people who suffer from diabetes can use it to control their blood sugar levels.
Oleic acid can also boost the reaction of the body's immune system. As a result, many diseases can be prevented, as the body is more resilient against bacteria, viruses or fungi. A strong immune system can prevent many common conditions, such as flu or cold. Oleic acid can also control inflammation and prevent strong reactions.
Many compounds have been investigated as possible cures for cancer and oleic acid is one of them. Cancer is such a serious problem today that basically any mineral or vitamin with the slightest potential to improve this condition is the focus of serious research. There is no conclusive evidence that oleic acid treats cancer but it seems to help people who develop the disease for genetic reasons.
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Oleic acid is known to be beneficial for blood circulation. It keeps the walls of arteries elastic and prevents atherosclerosis. At the same time, it is needed for the proper development and operation of our brain. Since it increases the risk of bleeding, it must be used with caution. This is especially the cause of people who take certain types of drugs, such as anticoagulants or antiplatelet.
The reason why oleic acid is good for circulation is the size of its molecules. This unsaturated fatty acid doesn't combine with other compounds, so it can't form the plaques that block blood vessels. As a result, the blood can flow freely and many diseases are prevented.
There are two types of cholesterol. Oleic acid is considered good cholesterol, since it decreases the level of the bad one. It boosts the amount of good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL), while reducing the level of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL). This effect can reduce the risk of several heart conditions.
Oleic acid is also an important source of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and protect tissues from their destructive action. It is included in some antioxidant supplements and also improves the reaction of our immune system.
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Other health benefits have also been identified. Oleic acid plays a key role in brain functions and can improve neurological transmission. Oleic acid is also a part of cell membranes and it's needed to repair tissue damage. This fatty acid strengthens the heart and makes the entire circulatory system work better.
This compound is known to delay the progression of a very serious disease known as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). This is a fatal degenerative condition that destroys nerves, the brain as well as the adrenal glands.
Oleic acid appears to be effective against cancer as well. It decreases the risk of some tumours, in particular breast cancer, by interfering with the development of cancer cells. It inhibits the compound known as HER-2/neu, which has been identified in about one third of breast cancer cases.
As an essential fatty acid, oleic acid plays several key roles in the body and boosts a number of functions. It is useful when included in weight loss diets and can counter the worst effects of asthma. It fights arthritis and its symptoms. It can decrease insulin resistance, which makes it easier for diabetes patients to control their blood glucose levels. Oleic acid can also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that hardens the walls of arteries and can cause the formation of blood clots, with potentially fatal consequences.
Cholesterol is considered a major cause for many cardiovascular problems, including hypertension, heart failure, stroke or chest pain (angina pectoris). Oleic acid can reduce the level of cholesterol, improving cardiovascular health.
Oleic acid is also a useful cosmetic. It makes the skin softer and shinier, so it is included as an ingredient in some products. It improves hair health, which is why olive oil can be used as a natural hair care product.
However, oleic acid must be consumed with caution, by women in particular. It is known to increase the risk of breast cancer, which has been linked to high levels of oleic acid in red blood cell membranes. This only seems to happen if the diet is too rich in oleic acid.
Like many healthy natural products, oleic acid can also cause problems if consumed in large amounts. While the quantities found in food are not dangerous, it is important not to take it as a supplement without asking your doctor in advance. Many people try to self-treat themselves today, which can lead to dangerous consequences.
Oleic acid is very healthy but only if consumed with moderation. However, the risk of having a fatal overdose is very low. You have to remember that oleic acid is still a fat, even if one with health benefits. Even if you think it would be a good idea to increase your intake of oleic acid by taking some capsules, you should ask for the advice of a medical professional first.
Oleic acid has a high concentration of lipids, so it can hydrate the skin very effectively. It is added as an ingredient in many nourishing skin care products, such as soaps or lotions. It is easily absorbed by the skin, which allows it to reach the deeper layers and provide long-term hydration. Many creams just stay on the skin surface and only produce superficial moisture. Lotions with oleic acid are often more expensive because they penetrate the outer skin layer and have long-lasting effects.