Role of Palmitic Acid in Infant Nutrition

The human milk delivers palmitic acid in a very specific form – as sn-2 fatty acid – that maximizes its absorption as well as that of calcium. In formula-fed infants, the substitution of palmitic acid from vegetable fats with lipids that are high in sn-2 palmitic acid enhances palmitic acid absorption, decreases soap formation and hard stools, and improves calcium absorption and bone mineral content in the infant.

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Studies have shown that the use of formula with high sn-2 palmitate content improves fatty acid absorption and calcium absorption, the latter resulting from reduced stool soap formation.