In the present study we used regression analyses to evaluate the effects of stearic acid (18:0) on total cholesterol (TC), low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations (mmol/L). Using data from 18 articles, we developed the following predictive equations (monounsaturated fatty acids, MUFAs; polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFAs): delta TC = 0.0522 delta 12:0-16:0 - 0.0008 delta 18:0 - 0.0124 delta MUFA - 0.0248 delta PUFA; delta LDL-C = 0.0378 delta 12:0-16:0 + 0.0018 delta 18:0 - 0.0178 delta MUFA - 0.0248 delta PUFA; delta HDL-C = 0.0160 delta 12:0-16:0 - 0.0016 delta 18:0 + 0.0101 delta MUFA + 0.0062 delta PUFA. Our analyses revealed that unlike the other long-chain saturated fatty acids (SFAs), stearic acid had no effect on TC and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in men and women. MUFAs elicited an independent hypocholesterolemic effect that we believe is due to the small amount of 12:0-16:0 in the experimental diets evaluated. The observation that stearic acid has unique effects on TC, LDL-C, and HDL-C provides additional compelling evidence that it be distinguished from the other major SFAs in blood cholesterol predictive equations.