Palmitic Acid Versus Stearic Acid: Effects of Interesterification and Intakes on Cardiometabolic Risk Markers-A Systematic Review

Merel A. van Rooijen, Ronald P. Mensink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

Fats that are rich in palmitic or stearic acids can be interesterified to increase their applicability for the production of certain foods. When compared with palmitic acid, stearic acid lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, which is a well-known risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), but its effects on other cardiometabolic risk markers have been studied less extensively. In addition, the positional distribution of these two fatty acids within the triacylglycerol molecule may affect their metabolic effects. The objective was to compare the longer-term and postprandial effects of (interesterified) fats that are rich in either palmitic or stearic acids on cardiometabolic risk markers in humans. Two searches in PubMed/Medline, Embase (OVID) and Cochrane Library were performed; one to identify articles that studied effects of the position of palmitic or stearic acids within the triacylglycerol molecule and one to identify articles that compared side-by-side effects of palmitic acid with those of stearic acid. The interesterification of palmitic or stearic acid-rich fats does not seem to affect fasting serum lipids and (apo) lipoproteins. However, substituting palmitic acid with stearic acid lowers LDL-cholesterol concentrations. Postprandial lipemia is attenuated if the solid fat content of a fat blend at body temperature is increased. How (the interesterification of) palmitic or stearic acid-rich fats affects other cardiometabolic risk markers needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number615
Number of pages24
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • palmitic acid
  • stearic acid
  • positional distribution
  • interesterification
  • longer-term
  • postprandial
  • lipids
  • lipoproteins
  • cardiometabolic risk markers
  • coronary heart disease
  • DIETARY FATTY-ACIDS
  • CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE
  • FACTOR-VII
  • POSTPRANDIAL LIPEMIA
  • POSITIONAL DISTRIBUTION
  • SN-2 POSITION
  • PLASMA-LIPIDS
  • TRIACYLGLYCEROL STRUCTURE
  • HORMONE RESPONSES
  • ENRICHED DIETS

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