Palmitic acid is a common 16-carbon saturated fat that represents 10-20% of the normal human dietary fat intake. Palmitic acid also makes up approximately 25% of the total plasma fatty acids in plasma lipoproteins. Saturated fatty acids induce the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and, after protein acylation, are used to confer lipid anchoring to a variety of signaling molecules. Palmitic acid ethyl ester is a neutral, lipid soluble form of the free acid. It is one of the fatty acid ethyl esters that increase cytosolic Ca2+ concentration leading to pancreatic acinar cell injury due to excessive consumption of ethanol.
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