The Benefits of Cetyl Myristoleate

Health Benefits, Uses, Tips, and More

In This Article

Joint pain

Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images

Cetyl myristoleate, also known as cis-9-cetylmyristoleate or CMO, is a fatty acid found naturally in certain animals, including mice, cows, beavers, and whales. It is sold in dietary supplement form and is also available as a skin cream. Said to reduce inflammation, cetyl myristoleate is touted as a natural treatment for a number of health conditions.

Uses for Cetyl Myristoleate

Proponents claim that cetyl myristoleate can help with osteoarthritis, a condition marked by wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding your joints. It is said to relieve joint pain and reduce further joint damage, possibly by reducing inflammation. It is typically taken in supplement form or applied directly to the skin (typically in the form of a cream).

Cetyl myristoleate is also used for other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.

In addition, some people use it for the following conditions:

The Benefits of Cetyl Myristoleate

Cetyl myristoleate was initially isolated from National Institutes of Health mice, after it was found that this substance protected these animals from developing experimentally-induced arthritis.

There is a lack of research on the health benefits and safety of cetyl myristoleate, although some further research has explored whether it may aid in the treatment of arthritis.

In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, for example, researchers found that use of a cream containing cetyl myristoleate helped improve functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. For the study, 40 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: a cream made with cetyl myristoleate or a placebo cream. After 30 days of twice-daily treatment, those given cetyl myristoleate showed greater improvements in range of motion in their knees (as well as in balance, ability to ascend/descend stairs, and ability to rise from sitting).

Additionally, a 2002 study from the same journal found that consuming cetyl myristoleate in supplement form may help improve knee range of motion and overall function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study involved 64 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, each of whom was treated with either cetyl myristoleate or a placebo for 68 days. Compared to members of the placebo group, those treated with cetyl myristoleate showed greater functional improvements by the study's end.

Side Effects

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of cetyl myristoleate supplements, or whether it may interact with medications.

Keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.


A number of other natural remedies may help alleviate arthritis symptoms. For example, some studies show that increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help treat arthritis. There's also some evidence that dietary supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and avocado/soybean unsaponifiables may aid in arthritis management.

In addition, practicing yoga, taking up tai chi, and/or undergoing acupuncture may help curb arthritis pain and improve functioning.

Where To Find It

Widely available for purchase online, cetyl myristoleate is sold in some natural-foods stores, drugstores, and stores specializing in dietary supplements.

A Word From Verywell

Due to the limited research about the effectiveness and safety of cetyl myristoleate, it's too soon to recommend it as a treatment for any condition. It should be noted that self-treating a condition with cetyl myristoleate and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using it, make sure to consult your primary care provider first.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources