Biological and nutritional properties of palm oil and palmitic acid: Effects on health

Annamaria Mancini, Esther Imperlini, Ersilia Nigro, Concetta Montagnese, Aurora Daniele, Stefania Orrù, Pasqualina Buono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing body of evidence highlights the close association between nutrition and human health. Fat is an essential macronutrient, and vegetable oils, such as palm oil, are widely used in the food industry and highly represented in the human diet. Palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid, is the principal constituent of refined palm oil. In the last few decades, controversial studies have reported potential unhealthy effects of palm oil due to the high palmitic acid content. In this review we provide a concise and comprehensive update on the functional role of palm oil and palmitic acid in the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The atherogenic potential of palmitic acid and its stereospecific position in triacylglycerols are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17339-17361
Number of pages23
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Mufa
  • Obesity
  • Palm oil
  • Palmitic acid
  • Pufa
  • Sfa
  • T2DM
  • Tag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological and nutritional properties of palm oil and palmitic acid: Effects on health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this