[Is the intake of palm oil (palmitic acid) in meals associated with the low incidence of respiratory distress syndrome in Nigeria? (author's transl)].
Monatsschr Kinderheilkd. 1979 Nov;127(11):669-74. PMID: 514273
Comparative gaschromatographic assays of different domestic oils used in West Germany and the domestic oil (palm oil) used in Nigeria and other West African countries were performed. It was discovered that the palm oil contains extremely high amounts of palmitic acid and linoleic acid compared to the other oils used in Germany. In view of the fact that previous studies have shown that palmitic acid is required for the biosynthesis of lung lecithin, which is closely related to fetal maturation, we performed animal experiments with rabbits to determine the incorporation rate of 3H-marked palmitic acid into various fetal organs: (fetal lung, placenta, fetal liver, fetal intestine etc.) after a previous intravenous injection of the 3H-marked palmitic acid to the mother rabbit. The radiochromatogram showed high incorporation rates of palmitate into the lecithin by fetal lung and placenta. These results seem to document that the high content of palm oil in Nigerian meals can partly be related to the low incidence of respiratory distress syndrom in Nigerian premature infants.