Oleic acid is an omega-nine fatty acid that is found naturally in many vegetable sources and animal products. It is considered as a healthy source of fat and is used as a replacement for high saturated animal fats. The major component in olive oil is the triglyceride esters of oleic acid. That's why oleic acid means an oil related to or derived from olive. Apart from olive oil, it can also be found in grape seed or canola oil. In human beings, this fatty acid occurs abundantly in the adipose tissue.
Oleic Acid Sources
There are several plant and meat products that are rich sources of this fatty acid. Healthy benefits can be reaped by including these foods in the diet. Given below are some oleic acid rich sources.
- Macadamia nut
- Sesame oil
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Pistachio nuts
Positive Effects of Oleic Acid on the Body
Oleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid is predominantly found in plant products and has the ability to lower blood pressure and the level of cholesterol in the body. There are many benefits of oleic acid, a few of which are listed as follows:
- Oleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid that has larger molecules which have a tendency to slide past each other without bonding with other molecules, thus ensuring free flow of blood without forming plaques that block arteries.
- This triglyceride is one of the sources of good cholesterol, as it helps in lowering the total level of cholesterol in the body. It also lowers the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol while increasing the levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol that is required for the overall health of an individual.
- It is rich in antioxidants that help in fighting the effects of free radicals in the body. It also boosts the immune system and helps in fighting diseases by keeping us healthy throughout. It is also used as an antioxidant supplement.
- It strengthens the cell membrane integrity and helps in repairing cells and tissues damage.
- It boosts memory power and optimizes the functions of the brain and neurological transmission.
- Oleic acid is a major ingredient in medications used for obstructing the progression of Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), which is a fatal disease that affects the brain and adrenal glands.
- It improves the functioning of the heart and circulatory system.
- Oleic acid also helps in fighting cancer and inhibits the growth of cancerous cells thus reducing the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. It blocks the action of HER-2/neu, a cancer-causing oncogene found in about 30% of breast cancer patients.
- Reduces the inflammation of joints and other complications related to arthritis.
- This essential fatty acid acts as an energy booster for different functions of the body.
- Mono-unsaturated fatty acids help in weight loss.
- It also helps in reliving symptoms of asthma.
- Reduces the clogging and hardening of arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.
- Reducing the resistance of insulin thereby improving glucose (blood sugar) maintenance.
- Lower the level of cholesterol in the body thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, high blood pressure, angina pectoris (chest pain) and heart failure.
- Helps in weight loss.
- As an ingredient in cosmetics it acts as a moisturizer and provides soft, supple skin that glows with health.
- Applying olive oil to the hair makes it grow thicker and stronger.
Though there are so many benefits, there is a word of caution, especially for women. Over-consumption can be harmful because if there is a rise in the level of oleic acid in the membranes of the red blood cells, there is an increased risk of getting breast cancer.