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Cerotic acid

Cerotic acid

Cerotic acid, or hexacosanoic acid, is a carboxylic acid belonging to the class of saturated fatty acids having a carbon chain formed by 26 carbon atoms and chemical formula CH3(CH2)24COOH.
Its brute or molecular formula is: C26H52O2.
This acid is practically insoluble in water, but is soluble in ethanol, ethers, chloroform, carbon disulphide and turpentine.
Its name comes from the word “wax”, as it was first isolated from beeswax samples.
Common sources of cerotic acid, from which it can be extracted by fractionation, are beeswax, carnauba wax and wool fat.
Like other very long-chain fatty acids, cerotic acid is synthesized in plants through various elongation steps having fatty acyls with 16 or 18 carbon atoms as precursors to which are added two carbon atoms originating from malonyl CoA. Each step of elongation requires four enzymatic reactions: condensation between an acyl precursor and malonyl-CoA, followed by a reduction, dehydration and another reduction.
Cerotic acid can be detected in carbohydrates extracted from the seeds of various plants: Pentaclethra macrophylla (≈5%), Heisteria silvanii (≈4%), Apios mellifica Boerh (≈5%), Eriobotrya japonica (≈9%), Brachystegia eurycoma (≈4%).
As mentioned, cerotic acid is present in various natural sources, including beeswax, palm wax, some plants and vegetable oils.
It is solid at room temperature and has a crystalline structure.
Cerotic acid is mainly used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for the production of creams, lotions, soaps and other skin care products. It can also be used as a food additive in some products.
Cerotic acid has a fairly high melting point, around 87.7 °C (189.9 °F; 360.8 K), making it suitable for use in cosmetic products that require thermal stability.
Cerotic acid is considered generally safe when used in cosmetic and food products in appropriate amounts.
As happens for many other long-chain fatty acids, which, since they cannot be metabolized in the mitochondria, must be processed in the peroxisomes, also in the case of cerotic acid, peroxisomal accumulation pathologies can be associated with defects in its metabolism.
In summary, cerotic acid is a fatty acid found in several natural sources and is mainly used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for its benefits for the skin and its thermal stability; however its use must be evaluated through a medical consultation.

Warning: The information provided is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.

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