Effect of palm olein intake on lipid profile and appetite regulation

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The chemical structure of a lipid determines its effect on blood lipid profile and appetite regulation.



  • Contact name

    Gary Frost

  • Contact email


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Over the past decade there has been a substantial rise in knowledge of the effects of different fats on health and wellbeing.
    The World Health Organisation recognises that categorising fats purely by the number of double bonds: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated has many limitations.  Individual fatty acids within each group has distinct biological properties and different effects on health.
    Saturated fat (SFA) is widely used in food products, but is thought of as "bad" fat, because it has been found to raise cholesterol concentration. However studies show that cocoa butter, a highly saturated fat (67% saturated) has neutral effect on serum cholesterol level in human subjects.
    Chemical structure of fat determines its physical characteristics, which in turn affects its absorption, lipid metabolism and fat distribution in tissues. The different digestibility and absorption of fatty acid at different position on the triglyceride backbone might be the reason for the neutral effect of some 
    saturated fats.
    Palm oil is currently the mostly widely used vegetable oil, found in 50% of products on supermarket shelves and its popularity is rising. Its interesterified form is used instead of unhealthy trans fats in cakes and biscuits. Palm oil has similar proportions of saturated, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids to lard and animal fat, but they have a different chemical structure, which might explain why palm olein behaves similarly to monounsaturated fat in its effect on cholesterol level.
    The current study aims to investigate the acute effect of palm oil on blood lipid profile.
    Fats are known to stimulate the release of specific hormones in the gut that lead to feelings of fullness and help control appetite. Little research exists as to whether fatty acid composition influences this hormone release. This study will also consider whether the fatty acid structure of palm oil influences the production of appetite regulatory hormones.

  • REC name

    Wales REC 3

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    30 Aug 2016

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion