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Definition of Palmitate

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Palmitate: An antioxidant and a vitamin A compound that is added to low-fat and fat-free milk to replace the vitamin content lost through the removal of milk fat. Palmitate (more formally known as retinyl palmitate) contains palmitic acid, a 16-carbon saturated fatty acid, which is the major fatty acid found in palm oil. The palmitic acid is attached to the alcohol form of vitamin A, called retinol, to make vitamin A stable in milk. The name "palmitate" comes from the French "palmitique" from palmite, the pith of the palm tree.

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