Effect of Cis-palmitoleic acid supplementation on inflammation and expression of HNF4γ, HNF4α and IL6 in patients with ulcerative colitis

Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2017 Sep;63(3):257-263. doi: 10.23736/S1121-421X.17.02367-4. Epub 2017 Feb 9.


Background: Cis-palmitoleic acid (Omega-7 fatty acid) is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) associated with anti-inflammatory process through specific protein interactions such as HNF4γ and HNF4α, these two genes are related to the immune response in ulcerative colitis (UC) they may act as a mediator of anti-inflammatory action. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Cis-palmitoleic acid supplementation on inflammatory activity and the expression of genes HNF4γ, HNF4α and IL6 in the colonic mucosa of patients with active UC.

Methods: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted in 20 patients with UC. A dose of 720 mg/day of Cis-palmitoleic acid was orally administered during 8 weeks and Mayo Clinic score was used for the assessment of clinical activity in UC before and after treatment with Cis-palmitoleic acid and placebo.

Results: A total of 20 patients with UC were randomized to receive Cis-palmitoleic acid or placebo. Significant changes in the biochemical markers of inflammation were found in UC patients before and after treatment with Cis-palmitoleic acid vs. placebo such as total protein (P=0.02), hs-CRP (P=0.04) and ESR (P<0.05). The gene expression of HNF4γ and HNF4α were found to be increased in the Cis-palmitoleic acid group compared to placebo group (P=0.05 and P=0.07 respectively) as well as significant reduction upon IL6 expression in the Cis-palmitoleic acid group (P=0.005).

Conclusions: Cis-palmitoleic acid as co-adjuvant therapy for 8 weeks seems to decrease the inflammatory activity through the increased expression of HNF4α and HNF4γ in patients with UC.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • RNA, Messenger
  • palmitoleic acid