Cellular Nutrition: What is it & Why is it Important?
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
Cells are important, and we aren’t referring to your favorite rectangle-shaped communication devices. Cellular health is the foundation of your bodily health, and ensuring you have good cellular health and nutrition is crucial for keeping healthy as a whole.
Our trillions of cells make up the tissues that make up our organs that make up entire systems. Ultimately, when cells fail, our bodies begin to fail. Making sure we are taking care of our cells is important, but it’s also hard to understand just what that entails.
Together, we’ll learn what cellular health is, how it pertains to cellular nutrition, why it’s so important, and how we can take care of our cells to live longer and feel better.
How Do Our Cells Contribute to Overall Health?
We all know that cells are what makes up our bodies, but this knowledge essentially gets tossed aside when it comes to treating our illnesses or attempting to support our health.
For instance: If your doctor tells you that your blood sugar levels are too high, you’ll probably just start eating less sugar. Eating less sugar isn't really correct though that may be your first plan of action. Instead, you’ll really want to eat foods with a low glycemic index, like green leafy vegetables, fruits, and beans. An even better solution is to eat a holistically healthy diet, lose weight, and take supplements that promote healthy glucose metabolism and help maintain healthy glucose levels.
Understanding the way that your cells help maintain your health overall can help you hone in on the importance of cellular nutrition.
What Makes Cells Unhealthy?
So, what is cellular nutrition? If our cells are keeping us healthy, it’s important to know what causes a cell to become unhealthy. The process of cells becoming unhealthy is called cellular degradation. As we age, it is normal for cells to experience some decline, but the rate at which our cells decline is largely due to external stressors that cause additional oxidative stress.
What is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress, also known as free radical damage, happens when the ratio of antioxidants to free radicals is unbalanced in our bodies. Here’s what happens.
Molecules are balanced when they have an even number of electrons. When they don’t, they’re referred to as free radicals. Free radicals have one mission: to become balanced by robbing a balanced molecule of their electrons.
While some free radicals are naturally occurring in our bodies as a byproduct of our regular biological functions, there are many that we can avoid by making better lifestyle choices.
Here are some of the most common sources of free radicals in our environment:
- Ultraviolet sun rays
- Cigarette smoke
- Pollution like smog or factory chemicals
- Commercial-grade cleaning supplies
Reducing your exposure to these sources can drastically reduce the amount of oxidative stress placed on your cells.
When a free radical finds a molecule that is balanced, it steals an electron and leaves the balanced molecule damaged. That damage doesn’t just affect the molecule, it affects the cell where the molecule lives. This is called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress to cells causes numerous health issues and is likely responsible for chronic, low-level inflammation that is characteristic of many age-related diseases.
In order to avoid oxidative stress, your body needs molecules called antioxidants. Antioxidants act as a shield to your healthy molecules when free radicals go electron-shopping. An antioxidant will protect a healthy molecule by offering up one of its electrons so that the healthy molecule is left unharmed.
How Does Oxidative Stress Impact Cellular Health?
Virtually all age-related diseases can be traced back to the negative effects of oxidative stress on your cells. Chronic, low-level inflammation is a relatively newly researched condition that attributes the majority of age-related illnesses to inflammation brought on by oxidative stress.
Research indicates that oxidative stress causes an immune response by the human body that can lead to inflammation, which can become chronic, and over time can lead to age-related cellular breakdown, illness, and even cancer.
Oxidative stress in the cells is often responsible for conditions that make up metabolic syndrome. These are:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Excess weight (especially around the midsection)
- Insulin resistance
These conditions together place a person at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
How To Improve Cellular Health
If you’re on a mission toward good health on a cellular level, we can help. Making simple lifestyle choices and exploring micronutrient supplementation options is a great way to get yourself in better cellular shape (spoiler: supporting your body’s building blocks goes beyond your standard multivitamin).
Providing your cells with the essential nutrients they need to maintain their integrity will be crucial in keeping your cells healthy. It’s also important to ensure you’re making other healthy lifestyle changes, like incorporating a nourishing diet and getting plenty of exercise.
Limit Free Radicals
With free radicals being a leading cause of damage to cells, limiting your exposure to them is key. Making an effort to quit smoking, wearing SPF and protective clothing when in the sun, and wearing a mask in areas with polluted air are all ways to help limit the free radicals in your system from external sources.
You can also support your cells by eating a diet packed with antioxidants that can help your body combat the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.
Boost Your Cellular Nutrition
Numerous supplements claim to have health benefits that seem too good to be true. It can be hard to determine which are worth taking, and which have little to no scientific backing. Some supplements, like CoQ10, glucosamine, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 have evidence that shows they’re beneficial when taken along with a healthy diet.
Among these, omega-3 fatty acids get a lot of publicity. One omega-3, ALA, is a fatty acid that is essential. That means our bodies need it but can’t make it on their own. As such, we have to get it from our diets, or from a supplement.
While ALA is important for our bodies, taking too much of it can be detrimental to our health. It’s also important to note that, because ALA isn’t incredibly bioavailable to us in supplement form, you’ll generally need to take a high dose of it to get its purported benefits. Most of the time, your omega-3 supplements will be between 2,000 and 3,000 milligrams per dose.
Omega-3s in general are good for us, but they’re also a really weak fatty acid. Omega-3s are PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), that make our cells more flexible, and sometimes more susceptible to oxidative stress, whereas other fatty acids (like the one you're about to learn about) make our cells sturdier and less susceptible to cellular breakdown as we age.
Lastly, omega-3 supplements usually come with side effects that aren’t very pleasant. Because omega-3s are abundant in fatty fish, fish oil supplements reign supreme for supplementing with omega-3. These are notorious for giving you fish burps and fish breath that is completely unavoidable.
A Better Supplement for Cellular Nutrition
If you’d still like to support your cellular health but avoid the fishy aftertaste, there’s a solution.
Pentadecanoic acid (also known as C15:0) is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that research shows is the first essential fatty acid to have been discovered in over 90 years.
C15:0 is a different kind of fatty acid. It’s sturdy, and able to dig deep into cells to help strengthen them, unlike omega-3, which allows cells to remain flimsy and unstable.
C15:0 helps support your cells in multiple ways that are crucial for keeping your cells healthy, including strengthening cell membranes, improving the function of our mitochondria, and improving cellular signaling.
Cell Membrane Support
As we get older, our cell membranes become thinner, making them more susceptible to external stressors that could cause oxidative stress and damage them.
C15:0 integrates into our cell membranes, helping to strengthen them and fortify them, so they’re better protected against free radicals. Combining C15:0 with healthy antioxidants is like a Batman and Robin team of cellular superheroes.
The mitochondria in our cells power them to carry out cellular processes and function properly. They are often called the powerhouse of the cell — they provide cellular energy throughout the body. When the mitochondria slow down, our cells slow down, and eventually we slow down.
C15:0 boosts mitochondria performance by 45%.
When your cells have their function restored, entire bodily systems work better, leaving you feeling better and helping to slow down the aging process and support healthy aging.
Your body is home to a host of receptors called PPARs that control functions like mood, sleep, appetite, and even immunity.
C15:0 helps regulate and balance these functions by binding with the PPAR receptors that control them, giving you a better chance of living a healthier, more energetic life.
How To Get C15:0
C15:0 is found mostly in whole dairy products and some fish. Because we have been told to remove all saturated fats from our diets for the last 40 years, you have probably decreased your intake of C15:0, an essential fatty acid, without even knowing it.
Fatty15 is the once-a-day dietary supplement that gives you the pure, vegan version of C15:0 in an easy-to-swallow capsule.
FA15™ is the pure, powdered form of C15:0 that you can take in fatty15 supplement form. Just 100 milligrams a day is enough to help support healthy cells and give them a fighting chance against cellular aging.*
Make a resolution that is easy to keep and will make a bigger impact than committing to a new beach body workout routine.
Fatty15 makes it easy for you to care for your body and do something greater for optimal health and well-being in the upcoming year.
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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