Pinolenic acid
Preferred IUPAC name
(5Z,9Z,12Z)-Octadeca-5,9,12-trienoic acid
Other names
Columbinic acid
3D model (JSmol)
  • InChI=1S/C18H30O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18(19)20/h6-7,9-10,13-14H,2-5,8,11-12,15-17H2,1H3,(H,19,20)/b7-6-,10-9-,14-13- ☒N
  • InChI=1/C18H30O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18(19)20/h6-7,9-10,13-14H,2-5,8,11-12,15-17H2,1H3,(H,19,20)/b7-6-,10-9-,14-13-
Molar mass 278.4296 g/mol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Pinolenic acid (often misspelled as pinoleic acid) is a fatty acid contained in Siberian Pine nuts, Korean Pine nuts and the seeds and xylem of other pine (Pinus) species. The highest percentage of pinolenic acid is found in Siberian pine nuts and the oil produced from them.[citation needed]

Chemistry and biochemistry

Pinolenic acid is formally designated as all-cis-5,9,12-18:3.[1][2] Some sources also use the term columbinic acid for this substance.[2] But columbinic acid sometimes designates an E-Z isomer (trans,cis,cis delta-5,9,12/18:3) in the biologic literature.[3]

Pinolenic acid is an isomer of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an ω-6 essential fatty acid (EFA) but pinolenic acid is not. However, like the EFAs, it forms biologically active metabolites in the presence of cyclooxygenase or lipoxygenase. These metabolites can partially relieve some of the symptoms of EFA deficiency.[4]


Recent research has shown its potential use in weight loss by curbing appetite.[5] Pinolenic acid causes the triggering of two hunger suppressants—cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Pinolenic acid may have LDL-lowering properties by enhancing hepatic LDL uptake.[6]


Pine nuts are a rich source of pinolenic acid
  1. ^ Cyberlipid Center. "POLYENOIC FATTY ACIDS". Archived from the original on 2018-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  2. ^ a b PubChem. "PubChem - CID 5312493". Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  3. ^ Tanaka T, Hattori T, Kouchi M, Hirano K, Satouchi K (1998). "Methylene-interrupted double bond in polyunsaturated fatty acid is an essential structure for metabolism by the fatty acid chain elongation system of rat liver". Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1393 (2–3): 299–306. doi:10.1016/s0005-2760(98)00084-8. PMID 9748638.
  4. ^ Elliott WJ, Sprecher H, Needleman P (1985). "Physiologic effects of columbinic acid and its metabolites on rat skin". Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 835 (1): 158–60. doi:10.1016/0005-2760(85)90043-8. PMID 3924106.
  5. ^ "Korean pine nut may offer help for obesity". Retrieved 2006-09-08. [dead link]
  6. ^ Lee JW; Lee KW; Lee SW; Kim IH; Rhee C. (April 2004). "Selective increase in pinolenic acid (all-cis-5,9,12-18:3) in Korean pine nut oil by crystallization and its effect on LDL-receptor activity". Lipids. 39 (4): 383–7. doi:10.1007/s11745-004-1242-2. PMID 15357026. S2CID 4058921.