Pentadecanoic acid to rival omega 3? Seraphina Therapeutics study flags “better” C15:0
30 May 2022 --- US-based wellness company Seraphina Therapeutics’ odd-chain saturated fat C15:0 (pentadecanoic acid) may be safer and more effective in repairing the body’s cells than eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega 3 fatty acid.
According to the company study, in comparison to omega 3, C15:0 demonstrated an additional 26 favorable benefits for immune health, gut health, heart health, joint health, skin health, red blood cell health and lung health.
Furthermore, while omega 3 was harmful to four human cell systems at the highest dose examined, C15:0 was harmless at all concentrations.
“These findings will significantly impact the omega 3 industry,” Stephanie Venn-Watson, co-founder and CEO at Seraphina Therapeutics, tells NutritionInsight.
“Omega 3 supplements, primarily sold as fish or krill oil, can be tough for consumers to take. They require large daily doses, can have a fishy aftertaste, are susceptible to oxidation, vary in quality, and are sourced from our ever-fragile oceans. Because of these ongoing issues, consumers are demanding better options.”
Resistant to oxidation?
According to Seraphina Therapeutics, omega 3s have a chemical structure that contains many double bonds, making them highly prone to oxidation. This explains why up to one out of every two bottles of omega 3 fish oil supplements could be rancid, and why higher amounts of omega 3 were harmful to human cells in the current study.
C15:0, on the other hand, has no double bonds and is resistant to oxidation, giving it a distinct advantage in terms of stability.
“The growing recognition of C15:0 as an essential fatty acid, which now has evidence of being better, broader and safer than the purest, highest performing omega 3, provides a new option for consumers,” adds Venn-Watson.
“Better, broader and safer cell-repairing properties of C15:0 compared to omega-3s may be due to C15:0’s natural resistance to oxidation, especially as we age.”
Despite the expanding quantity of evidence indicating both healthy and unhealthy saturated fats exist, dietary guidelines continue to recommend a reduced intake of all saturated fats.
While C15:0 and omega 3 target similar receptors and pathways in the immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems, Venn-Watson points out one key distinction. According to earlier research, C15:0, in particular, appears to block a significant oxidative stress-induced inflammatory pathway.
On the other hand, polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega 3, activate this pathway. This could explain why, in the current investigation, C15:0 was more effective and broad in lowering inflammation than omega 3.
Investigating the impact on cell cultures
During the head-to-head study, twelve separate human cell cultures imitating various disease states were treated with either C15:0 or omega 3. There were 148 biomarkers in these cell systems relevant to overall health.
“We were able to discover C15:0 as a healthy and essential nutrient by applying metabolomics and conducting extensive human cell-based phenotypic profiling. While these advanced technologies were originally developed to discover new therapeutics, they can also be used to find which ingredients are truly essential to our health,” Venn-Watson explains.
Researchers found that C15:0 and omega 3 had ten beneficial benefits in common, most of which were related to reduced inflammation.
“Regarding what’s next, in addition to broadening our understanding of how C15:0 protects our physical health, we are also exploring how C15:0 supports our mental health and wellness,” she says.
Previously, the company’s FA15 – which contains C15:0 powder – gained a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) approval.
By Nicole Kerr
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