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Promoting Your Metabolic Health: A Focus on Pentadecanoic acid (C15:0)

by Seraphina Therapeutics
    • Our metabolism is defined by a complex series of chemical reactions that occur throughout our whole body, all the time, to keep us healthy. 
    • As we age, our metabolism can falter, resulting in impaired cellular functions, faulty immune systems, foggier brains, and difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.
    • Fatty15 contains just the good, pure powder form of C15:0, with evidence of promoting healthy metabolism in part by naturally activating receptors throughout our body that orchestrate our metabolism.*

Authored by: Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH

We can point to our heart and brain, and maybe our liver and spleen. But how many of us can point to our metabolism?

While we tend to think of our body’s health organ by organ, our metabolic health is our whole body health, helping to keep our hearts, brains, livers and everything else in order. Unfortunately, when our metabolic health starts to fail, our body’s health does, too.

So, how can you best protect your general metabolic health? 

First, let’s talk about what metabolism is and how it keeps your whole body healthy. Then, we will share a surprise about dietary saturated fats. Finally, we will discuss how a growing body of evidence supports fatty15 (a pure, powder form of C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid) as an important way to support your metabolic health, resulting in a happier and healthier you.*

What is metabolic health?

While most of us understand why protecting our heart and brain health is important, knowing what metabolic health is, and why we should promote it, can be a bit trickier. Here’s why.

Our metabolism is defined by a complex series of chemical reactions that occur throughout our whole body, all the time, to keep us up and running.[1Our metabolism breaks down nutrients into smaller, bite-size molecules that our cells can use for all kinds of good things, including generating energy and allowing cells to communicate with each other.

Metabolism also includes building larger molecules that our bodies can use to form tissues and perform more complex functions that make our bodies smarter, faster, and healthier.[1

Thus, your metabolism is a fully functioning factory that takes nutrients in and turns them into, well…you.

Unfortunately, as we age, our metabolism slows, resulting in an increasingly poorly functioning factory that produces an increasingly less-healthy you,[2,3including:[4]

  • Less efficient conversion of nutrients into energy
  • Poorly functioning cells that check out earlier than they should
  • Impaired communication between cells

 As we get older, these changes in our metabolism can contribute to:

  • Impaired organ functions (like, your heart and liver)[5]
  • Faulty immune systems that respond inappropriately[6]
  • Foggier brains[7]

As part of this breakdown in our metabolism, metabolic syndrome can occur, which is now present in 1 in 4 people globally.[8]

The good news is that there are things we can do to promote and protect our metabolic health.

A surprise about saturated fats

For the past 40 years, dietary saturated fats have been on our naughty list. As a result, we have shunned butter and bacon.

Dozens and dozens of nutritional studies on saturated fats have been published over the past 20 years, and scientists have learned a lot about saturated fats – both good and bad - and how they impact our metabolic health.[9]

The problem is, while we continue to hear about bad saturated fats, most of us have not heard the silver lining from these studies – that there are also good saturated fats, called odd-chain saturated fatty acids.[10]

So, here are a few pearls of wisdom about saturated fats (that you can also pass on to others):*

  • Not all saturated fats are bad. Dozens of large-scale epidemiological studies conducted throughout the world repeatedly and consistently demonstrate some types of saturated fats associated with poor health, while other types are associated with good health.[10]
  • Even-chain saturated fatty acids are associated with poor metabolic health. Saturated fatty acids with an even number of carbons in their chemical structure (like, C16:0 or C18:0) continue to be associated with higher risks of having or developing metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.[11,12]
  • Odd-chain saturated fatty acids are associated with good metabolic and health. Saturated fatty acids with an odd number of carbons in their chemical structure (like, C15:0 or C17:0) are consistently associated with healthy metabolism, as well as healthy hearts, immunity, and livers.[1213,14,15]
  • One odd-chain saturated fatty acid in particular, called C15:0 (pronounced see-fifteen, also called pentadecanoic acid), is emerging as the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. A growing body of science supports that C15:0 meets the criteria of an essential fatty acid.[10This means that we need adequate levels of C15:0 in our bodies to stay healthy, but our bodies don’t make enough of it, so we need to get C15:0 from our diet or supplements.

While our most common dietary sources of C15:0 are butter and other whole fat dairy products, these foods contain much (much) higher levels of the bad even-chain saturated fats. So, where can you get the good C15:0 fat without the bad saturated fats? Read on to find out.

How fatty15 can support our metabolic health

Fatty15 is a once daily and easy to use supplement containing only one ingredient: FA15TM, a pure powder form of C15:0. Our studies have demonstrated that fatty15 helps to promote healthy metabolism, including:*

  • Improving energy production. Fatty15 helps to restore impaired mitochondrial function, enabling your cells’ batteries to pump out the energy your cells need to keep your metabolism in tip-top shape.
  • Helping cells stay resilient and functioning. Fatty15 makes your cells less fragile by incorporating sturdy C15:0 into your cells’ membranes, enabling them to live and function longer as a key part of your metabolism.
  • Restoring communication between cells. Fatty15 naturally binds to receptors, called PPARs (pronounced pee-pars) alpha and delta, that are found throughout your body and brain. PPARs alpha and delta orchestrate your metabolism and immunity, as well as your mood, appetite, and sleep. By activating PPARs, fatty15 allows your cells’ communication systems to stay alert and respond appropriately to environmental stressors and your diet.

By promoting your metabolic health, our studies have shown that fatty15 can help maintain healthy glucose, cholesterol, and immune homeostasis, as well as healthy liver function.* 

With fatty15, you now have the option to protect your health and age on your own terms.*  Consider incorporating fatty15 into your daily health routine to support your metabolic and whole body health at the cellular level.*

Read the science 

For a summary of peer-reviewed and published science on C15:0 (pentadecanoic acid), including our studies in Scientific Reports demonstrating C15:0 as a natural PPAR activator and regulator of metabolism, please click here.

1. What exactly is metabolism? Mayo Clinic https://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/move/what-is-metabolism?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20150910

2. McAuley, M.T. et al. Computationally modeling lipid metabolism and aging: a mini-review. Comp Struct Biotech J 13:38-46 (2015).

3. Wiley, C.D. et al. From ancient pathways to aging cells - connecting metabolism and cellular senescence. Cell Metab 23:1013-1021 (2016).

4. Lopez-Otin, C. et al. The hallmarks of aging. Cell 153:1194-1217 (2013).

5. Khan, S.S. et al. Molecular and physiological manifestations and measurements of aging in humans. Aging Cell 16:624-633 (2017).

6. Fulop, T. et al. Immunosenescence and inflamm-aging as two sides of the same coin: friends or foes? Front Immunol 8:1960 (2017).

7. Camandola, S. & Mattson, M.P. Brain metabolism in health, aging and neurodegeneration. EMBO J 36:1474-1492 (2017).

8. Saklayen, M.G. The global epidemic of the metabolic syndrome. Curr Hyperten Rep 20:12 (2018).

9. Astrup, A. et al. Saturated fats and health: a reassessment and proposal for food-based recommendations: JACC State-of-the-art review. J Am Coll Cardiol 76:844-857 (2020).

10. Venn-Watson, S. et al. Efficacy of dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid parallels broad associated health benefits in humans: could it be essential? Scientific Reports 10:8161 (2020).

11. Forouhi, N.G. et al. Differences in the prospective association between individual plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study. Lancet Diab Endocrinol 14:70146-9 (2014).

12. Kleber, M.E. Saturated fatty acids and mortality in patients referred for coronary angiography - The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health study. J Clin Lipidol 12:455-463 (2018).

13. Khaw, K.T. et al. Plasma phospholipid fatty acid concentration and incident coronary heart disease in men and women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Study. PLOS Medicine 9:e1001255 (2012).

14. Kurotani, K. et al. Even- and odd-chain saturated fatty acids in serum phospholipids are differentially associated with adipokines. PLOS ONE 12:e0178192 (2017).

15. Sawh, M.C. et al. Dairy fat intake, plasma C15:0 and plasma Iso-C17:0 are inversely associated with liver fat in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol (2021).

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