C15:0 is a healthy, odd-chain saturated fatty acid that our bodies require to maintain physiological health.
While omega-3 and omega-6 have been recognized as two essential fatty acids, C15:0 is emerging as the third essential fatty acid. Let’s talk about the differences between the omegas and C15:0.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid
Omega-3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that contain multiple double bonds.
These double bonds are why omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are oils which are particularly susceptible to oxidation.
While omega-3 fatty acids have had many proposed health benefits, studies have had mixed outcomes.
Reference: NIH In Depth Summary of Omega-3 Supplements Link to https://bit.ly/3QBDlbD
In comparison, C15:0 (also called pentadecanoic acid) is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid with no double bonds in the main chain.
This makes C15:0 sturdy and resistant to oxidation.
Studies have recently linked C15:0 to better long-term health, including better heart, metabolic, immune and liver health.
Reference: Venn-Watson et al. 2020 Link to https://go.nature.com/3vWmXKg
Even-chain saturated fatty acids, like C16:0, continue to be associated with increased risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation.
Odd-chain saturated fatty acids, like C15:0, are consistently associated with lower risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.
Essential fatty acids are nutrients that our bodies need to maintain physiological health, but our bodies don’t make.
Similar to vitamins, this means we need to get adequate amounts of essential fatty acids routinely from our diet.
Until recently, there were only two known essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3) and linoleic acid (an omega-6).
A growing body of evidence supports that C15:0 is the third-ever discovered essential fatty acid.
Read the study:
C15:0 works at the cellular level to reverse key hallmarks of aging, while reducing clinically-relevant drivers of chronic disease.