Health & Well-Being A-Z

Cetylated Fatty Acids (CFAs)

Cetylated Fatty Acids molecule

Cetylated fatty acids are fatty acids mixed with cetyl alcohol in a lab. The most common is cetyl myristoleate. Natural cetylated fatty acids are rare.

Cetylated fatty acids might help lubricate joints and muscles, soften tissues, and increase flexibility. They also might help the immune system and reduce swelling.

People commonly use cetylated fatty acids for osteoarthritis. They are also used for other types of arthritis, knee pain, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness header

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly effective
  • Osteoarthritis. Taking a specific blend of cetylated fatty acids combined with soy lecithin and fish oil seems to decrease pain and improve knee motion in people with knee osteoarthritis. Also, applying cetylated fatty acids directly to the skin may decrease pain and improve function in people with this condition.

There is interest in using cetylated fatty acids for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it Safe?


When taken by mouth: Cetylated fatty acids are possibly safe. The European Food Safety Authority considers cetylated fatty acids to be safe when used in doses up to 1.6 grams daily. It's not clear what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Cetylated fatty acids are possibly safe when used for up to 30 days. Some people might be sensitive to creams containing cetylated fatty acids, but they're usually well-tolerated.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cetylated fatty acids are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Drug interactions

It is not known if Cetylated Fatty Acids (CFAs) interacts with any medicines. Before taking Cetylated Fatty Acids (CFAs), talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Herb interactions

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Food interactions

There are no known interactions with foods.


There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of cetylated fatty acids might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Acides Gras Cetylated, Acides Gras Cétylés, Acides Gras Estérisés, Acides Gras Mono-Insaturés Cétylés, Ácidos Grasos Cetilados, Cerasomal-cis-9-cetylmyristoleate, Cetyl Decanoate, Cetyl Laurate, Cetyl Laureate, Cetyl Myristate, Cetyl Myristoleate, Cetyl Oleate, Cetyl Palmitate, Cetyl Palmitoleate, Cetyl Stearate, Cetylated Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, Cetylmyristoleate, CFA, Cis-9-cetylmyristoleate, CM, CMO, Esterified Fatty Acid Carbons, Esterified Fatty Acids, Lauréate Cétyl, Myristate Cétyl, Myristoléate Cétyl, Oléate Cétyl, Palmitate Cétyl, Palmitoléate Cétyl.


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