Newly Discovered Super-Fat in Ghee 

Newly Discovered Super-Fat in Ghee 

In the Ayurvedic texts, cultured ghee was said to have over 1,000 medical properties. As a result, it has been regarded as a superfood in India and, now, a superfood based on current research. I have written many articles on the powerful properties of ghee. It is the highest food source of butyric acid, which is critical for gut immunity and a healthy microbiome. Compared to grain-fed ghee, grass-fed ghee has 500 times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is most famous for improving metabolic health. 

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Not familiar with the benefits of grass-fed, organic, cultured ghee? Read my full summary here: 10 Reasons to Cleanse with Cultured Ghee

What is Pentadecanoic Acid C15?

New research suggests there is another reason to celebrate cultured ghee: pentadecanoic acid C15. Recently, the health benefits of this odd-chain fatty acid have been discovered. Primarily made in the intestines of ruminant animals like cows and some fish, little attention has been given to this fatty acid because it was made in such small quantities. It is also found in ghee. Today, there are numerous studies citing the benefits of pentadecanoic acid  and suggesting that  very little is needed to deliver a litany of health and longevity benefits.

The benefit of this odd-chain saturated fatty acid seems to be in the number of carbons (15), thus the name pentadecanoic acid C15. It has been shown to:

  • Boost immunity
  • Support heart health
  • Support liver function
  • Supports healthy blood sugar
  • Strengthen red blood cells
  • Support metabolic health and lipids
  • Support healthy cellular aging

In comparison, palmitic acid C16 is an even-chain saturated fatty acid that is linked to inflammation, blood sugar issues, and heart concerns. The key seems to be in the number of carbons in the fatty acid chain and the fact that pentadecanoic acid C15 is biologically active at a very low dose.

There is an old saying in Ayurveda: the more subtle something is, the more powerful it is. The bacteria in your gut that regulate innumerable functions in the body are invisible. The light-dark circadian rhythms that govern migration and seasons are also invisible. So, it is not surprising to me to find out that one of the most beneficial fatty acids is therapeutic in very small dosages.

See also 4-Step Prebiotic and Probiotic Protocol for a Healthy Microbiome

The Research Supporting C15’s Health Benefits

One of the aging pathways in the body is the age-related decline in an enzyme called AMPK, which is activated when energy levels are low. AMPK delivers glucose to the energy-producing mitochondria within our cells. Pentadecanic acid has been shown to stimulate AMPK and drive the delivery of glucose to the mitochondria for increased production and greater levels of cellular energy.

Other studies have shown that populations with lower levels of odd-chain fatty acids (such as pentadecanoic acid C15) have increased rates of mortality and poorer overall health than those with higher odd-chain levels. Research suggests it can  support healthy blood iron levels, blood sugar, cholesterol lipids, and a proper inflammation response, on top of the youthful repair of mitochondrial energy production and functional AMPK pathways. 

In addition, C15 is used by the body to make other biologically-active metabolites. One such metabolite is called pentadecanoylcarnitine, which has been shown to activate CB1 and CB2 receptors that regulate mood, sleep, healthy inflammation response, and pain levels. Research shows that this C15-derived metabolite also mitigates stress in the body by activating stress-reduction receptors. This metabolite also has the ability to  inhibit histamine receptors, supporting a healthy response to seasonal irritants.

See also The Ancient Science of Stress Management: Understanding the Causes of Imbalance

Finally, in a study that compared C15 to fish oil (EPA), C15 was found to be safer and  accompanied a broader scope of benefits. It was effective at a significantly lower dose. Researchers found the C15 to be as effective as the fish oil when it comes to nutritional support for mood, protecting against unhealthy cellular proliferation, and protecting against the proliferation of undesirable bacteria.

How Do I Get C15 Into My Diet?

While all non-processed dairy products will have trace amounts of pentadecanoic acid C15, it is the slow cooking and culturing of grass fed, organic milk into ghee that concentrates the fatty acids in the milk and boils off all the milk sugar (lactose). This process of concentrating all the fatty acids in ghee ultimately increases the trace quantities of pentadecanoic acid C15 from trace level to a higher, more therapeutic level.

When you consider all the powerful properties of grass-fed, organic, cultured ghee, it becomes more clear why the Ayurvedic texts revered this food as the most medicinal food over any other.

At LifeSpa, we have sourced the highest quality grass-fed, organic, cultured ghee we could find. Take a tablespoon a day in your cooking, on toast, in tea or coffee, or any way you like to slowly build your levels of odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid C15.

Get the Benefits of Pentadecanoic Acid! Shop Organic Grass Fed, Cultured Ghee Here.

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Dr. John

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