Definition of squalene in English:



mass nounBiochemistry
  • An oily liquid hydrocarbon which occurs in shark liver oil and human sebum, and is a metabolic precursor of sterols.

    A triterpenoid; chemical formula: C₃₀H₅₀

    • ‘Sebum is produced in the sebaceous glands and consists of glycerides, wax esters, squalene, and cholesterol.’
    • ‘Approximately 80% of the cholesterol in your blood is synthesized in your liver from squalene.’
    • ‘Human sebaceous glands secrete a lipid mixture of mainly triglycerides, wax esters, free fatty acids, and squalene.’
    • ‘Olive oil also contains squalene and oleuropein, which are powerful antioxidants, protecting blood cholesterol from oxidation.’
    • ‘Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and antioxidant compounds including oleuropein and squalene.’


Early 20th century from Latin squalus (see squalamine) + -ene.