Role of oleic acid in immune system; mechanism of action; a review

Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jul-Aug;27(4):978-90. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5783.


Introduction: Although n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been widely described as anti-inflammatory fats, little is known about the role of oleic acid in immune system.

Aim: The aim of the present review is to join all the reports available in order to analyze where exactly the knowledge concerning this topic is and what the causes of the controversial data could be.

Methods: We searched electronic databases and bibliographies of selected articles were inspected for further reference.

Results: Diets rich in oleic acid have beneficial effects in inflammatory-related diseases. In addition, a wide range of studies evaluate the effect of oleic acid in different cellular functions thus reporting a potential mechanism for the biological effect of such a fat. However, some controversial data can be found in literature, maybe related to the kind of study or even the dose of the reagent added.

Conclusion: In conclusion, oleic acid could be reported as an anti-inflammatory fatty acid playing a role in the activation of different pathways of immune competent cells.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Oleic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Oleic Acid