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Oleic acid

Oleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid found in vegetable and animal fats that has many medical and manufacuturing uses.

Chemical Formula: C18H34O2
Layman's explanation: A mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid is a component of almost all natural fats. It is obtained from any of various vegetable and animal oils and fats, particularly the seeds of castor, sunflower, safflower, parsley, soybean, flax, perilla, and celery. A colorless or yellow-to-red oily liquid with a lard-like odor, it solidifies to a crystalline mass at four degrees Celsius. When exposed to air it oxidizes and acquires a yellow to brown color and rancid odor; for this reason it should be kept sealed in a container and away from sunlight. It is almost completely insoluble in water but is soluble in alcohol, benzene chloroform, ether, and fixed and volatile oils. Although oleic acid has a low level of toxicity when absorbed orally, it is mildly irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. It also is combustible. Oleic acid is used as a soap base and in the production of food-grade additives, ointments, cosmetics, fragrance products, polishing compounds, surface coatings, and manufacturing driers. It is used for waterproofing textiles and for thickening lubricating oils. It also is used as a solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. It contributes to the flavor of foods and is found in sweet cider apples. One of the "good" or unsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid has proven helpful to cell and heart function. It has shown anti-inflammatory effects in the body and has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, allergies, and skin conditions. Its inclusion in the diet has improved cases of diabetes, depression, menopausal problems, obesity, memory and learning disabilities, eye problems, and digestive disorders. It is considered to lower the incidence of cancer (as an antioxidant), multiple sclerosis, and lupus as well.
Keywords: fatty acid, antioxidant, multiple sclerosis

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