, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 887-894
Date: 13 Aug 2008

Biological Functions and Metabolism of Oleoylethanolamide

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The present review is focused on the metabolism and the emerging roles of oleoylethanolamide (OEA) with emphasis on its effects on food intake control and lipid metabolism. The biological mechanism of action, including a non-genomic effect mediated through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α) and transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor, is discussed. The research related to fatty acid ethanolamides has been focused until recently on anandamide and its interaction with cannabinoid receptor subtype 1. The roles of other N-acyl ethanolamine fatty acid derivatives have been neglected until it was demonstrated that OEA can modulate food intake control through interaction with PPAR-α. Further investigations demonstrated that OEA modulates lipid and glucose metabolism, and recent study confirmed that OEA is an antagonist of TRVP1. It has been demonstrated that OEA has beneficial effects on health by inducing food intake control, lipid β-oxidation, body weight loss and analgesic effects. The investigation of the mechanism of action revealed that OEA activates PPAR-α and stimulates the vagal nerve through the capsaicin receptor TRPV1. Pre-clinical studies showed that OEA remains active when administered orally.