Punicic acid is a conjugated linolenic acid or CLnA; i.e. it has three conjugated double bonds. It is chemically similar to the conjugated linoleic acids, or CLA, which have two. It has been erroneous classified as "n-5" or "omega-5" polyunsaturated fatty acid because the last double bond is located five carbons from the terminal "omega" carbon, but the "n-x" notation can only be applied to all cis, methylene-interrupted polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In lab rats, punicic acid was converted to the CLA rumenic acid (9Z11E-CLA).In vitro, it shows anticancer activity against prostate cancer cells. OLETF rats—a strain which becomes obese—remained relatively lean when punicic acid was added to their feed.
Punicic acid makes up around 65% of the fatty acids in pomegranate seed oil.
^Lansky E, Harrison G, Froom P, Jiang W (2005). "Pomegranate (Punica granatum) pure chemicals show possible synergistic inhibition of human PC-3 prostate cancer cell invasion across Matrigel". Invest New Drugs. 23 (2): 121-2. doi:10.1007/s10637-005-5856-7. PMID15744587.