Thia substituted fatty acids are saturated fatty acids which are modified by insertion of a sulfur atom at specific positions in the carbon backbone. During the last few years pleiotropic effects of the 3-thia fatty acid tetradecylthioacetic acid have been revealed. The biological responses to tetradecylthioacetic acid include mitochondrial proliferation, increased catabolism of fatty acids, antiadiposity, improvement in insulin sensitivity, antioxidant properties, reduced proliferation and induction of apoptosis in rapidly proliferating cells, cell differentiation and antiinflammatory action. These biological responses indicate that tetradecylthioacetic acid changes the plasma profile from atherogenic to cardioprotective. As a pan-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ligand, tetradecylthioacetic acid regulates the adipose tissue mass and the expression of lipid metabolizing enzymes, particularly those involved in catabolic pathways. In contrast, circumstantial evidences suggest that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-independent metabolic pathways may be of importance for the antioxidant, antiproliferative and antiinflammatory action of tetradecylthioacetic acid.