Chemistry of Natural Compounds

, 47:511

Fatty acid composition of fruits of two forms of Serenoa repens


    • Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International University
  • J. Martin E. Quirke
    • Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryFlorida International University
  • Pat Houle
    • Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International University
  • Bradley C. Bennett
    • Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International University

DOI: 10.1007/s10600-011-9983-4

Cite this article as:
Priestap, H.A., Quirke, J.M.E., Houle, P. et al. Chem Nat Compd (2011) 47: 511. doi:10.1007/s10600-011-9983-4

Extracts of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) fruits are used widely in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This study presents an analysis of the fatty acid content of saw palmetto fruits from both the yellow-green and the less-distributed waxy blue-green forms growing in the Rockdale Pineland Preserve in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Extracts of the fruits were analyzed by GC and GC/MS both before and after treatment with diazomethane. All the samples had a similar composition dominated by oleic acid (40%) and lauric acid (22%), with minor amounts of C6-C18 free fatty acids and their naturally occurring methyl and ethyl esters. Fatty acid methyl and ethyl esters were quantified for the first time. Neither qualitatively nor quantitatively significant differences could be found in the fatty acid composition of the fruits from yellow-green and blue-green plants.


saw palmettoSerenoa repensSabal serrulataArecaceaebenign prostatic hyperplasiafree fatty acidsfatty acid methyl estersfatty acid ethyl esters

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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2011