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A lipokine is a lipid-controlling hormone. The term was coined by Hotamisligil Lab in 2008 to classify fatty acids which modulate lipid metabolism by what he called a "chaperone effect".[1]

The lipokine palmitoleic acid (C16:1n7-palmitoleate) travels to the muscles and liver, where it improves cell sensitivity to insulin and blocks fat accumulation in the liver. In addition, researchers observed that palmitoleate suppresses inflammation, which is considered by many to be a primary factor leading to metabolic disease.

Palmitoleic acid also serves as a biomarker for metabolic status. More specifically, a low concentration in the free acid component of the serum indicates a risk of metabolic disease, and that de novo lipogenesis should be stimulated. Additionally, administering palmitoleic acid to a subject (via nutraceutical or other means), positively impacts lipid metabolism.[1]


  1. ^ a b Haiming Cao; Kristin Gerhold; Jared R. Mayers; Michelle M. Wiest; Steve M. Watkins; and Gökhan S. Hotamisligil (2008). "Identification of a Lipokine, a Lipid Hormone Linking Adipose Tissue to Systemic Metabolism". Cell. 134 (6): 933–944. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.07.048. PMC 2728618. PMID 18805087.