Oleic acid, which has the molecular formula of C18H34O2 is a naturally occurring and mono-unsaturated fatty acid, found in many animal products and plant sources. Several healthy food products use it instead of animal fats, and this omega 9 fatty acid is often regarded as one of the healthiest ways to include fat in the diet, and to help lower cholesterol levels.
The acid is present in canola and grape seed oil, as well as olives, although olive oil is one of the major sources of the acid. It is also present in turkey and chicken, and many seeds and nuts. As well as being widely used in healthy and diet foods, oleic acid is also used to help lower cholesterol as part of a homeopathic program of treatment. It is also a key ingredient in Lorenzo's oil, which is used to fight ALD, a degenerative disease affecting the body's nervous system.