From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


2-Nonenal is an organic compound with the chemical formula C9H16O. It is an aldehyde and is known for its distinctive, unpleasant odor, often described as greasy, grassy, or cucumber-like. This compound is a type of unsaturated aldehyde and is commonly associated with the characteristic odor of aging human skin.

Chemical Properties[edit | edit source]

2-Nonenal is a colorless to pale yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a molecular weight of 140.23 g/mol and a boiling point of approximately 195°C. The compound is slightly soluble in water but more soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and diethyl ether.

Formation and Occurrence[edit | edit source]

2-Nonenal is formed through the oxidative degradation of fatty acids, particularly omega-7 unsaturated fatty acids. This process can occur naturally in the human body and is often accelerated by factors such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, oxidative stress, and the natural aging process.

Role in Aging Odor[edit | edit source]

The presence of 2-Nonenal is notably higher in individuals over the age of 40, leading to its association with the so-called "old person smell." This odor is a result of the increased lipid peroxidation in aging skin, which produces higher levels of unsaturated aldehydes like 2-Nonenal. The compound is often detected in the sebaceous glands and on the surface of the skin.

Detection and Measurement[edit | edit source]

2-Nonenal can be detected and measured using various analytical techniques such as gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS). These methods allow for the precise quantification of 2-Nonenal in biological samples and can be used in studies related to aging and dermatology.

Health Implications[edit | edit source]

While 2-Nonenal itself is not harmful, its presence is an indicator of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, which are associated with various age-related conditions. Research into 2-Nonenal and its effects on human health is ongoing, with a focus on understanding its role in the aging process and potential interventions to mitigate its production.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD