Is Fatty Acid C15:0 Your New Health Ally?

Written by: Natalie Louise Burrows


Healf Journal

It’s not Star Wars’s C3PO. It’s Pentadecanoic Acid also known as C15:0.

Pentadecanoic acid is an essential fatty acid like omega 3 and omega 6, meaning that the body cannot make it on its own and we need to consume to benefit from it. Bringing another arm of beneficial fats to your health and wellness routine. But should you supplement or eat it?

Natalie Louise Burrows, Nutritional Therapist and Clinic Director of Integral Wellness , reviews a new supplement to the market - Fatty15 - and looks at whether capsule or food form is best.

C15:0 v Omega 3 v Omega 6.

It’s been 90 years since the discovery of omega 3 and 6 and still the controversy surrounding fat continues to be debated. However, what has always been clear is that not all fats are created equal.

Omega 3 and 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that contain multiple double bonds and are essential nutrients the body cannot make endogenously; we must consume them (think oily fish for omega 3 and extra virgin olive oil for omega 6). While their benefits have been well evidenced and documented we know there is a susceptibility to oxidation of these fats and we must cook with them carefully.

The name C15:0 is based on the number of carbon atoms in its structure. Pentadecanoic acid is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that has no double bonds, which increases the stability and resilience of the structure and reduces the chance of oxidation of the fat. 

What are the benefits of fats?

Back to science school for a moment. Our cells have membranes to regulate what moves in and out of the cell. Inside the cell are the organelles which include the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell that generates energy so we can live.

Within each cellular membrane are multiple receptors and channels enabling communication and signalling for appropriate cellular functioning. It’s important to have strong, healthy membranes so all necessary actions can occur with ease. After all, we are a walking talking bunch of cells.

Blood glucose and heart health

If you're aware of the GLP-1 post recently you’ll know all about AMPK activation and its benefits but here’s a quick recap. AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is an enzyme responsible for metabolism regulation, triggering fatty acid metabolism to extract energy from fat reserves, and promoting autophagy, a beneficial process wherein your body dismantles and repurposes old cells for enhanced cellular efficiency. Pentadecanoic acid activates AMPK and inhibits mTOR which both support longevity, aid weight loss and can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Additionally, lower levels of C150, along with others, have been shown to be correlated with higher disease incidence of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance to name a few.

Ageing and longevity

Fatty acids are structural components of phospholipids, which are responsible for forming and protecting cell membranes. As we age, cell membranes undergo alterations and various tissues encounter challenges in oxygen and nutrient exchange, as well as waste removal, leading to atrophy.

Pentadecanoic acid is a sturdy fatty acid forming part of the cell membrane structure. There is evidence to indicate that the C15:0 structure of a fatty acid could strengthen cell membranes by up to 80%, protect against premature breakdown and may even reverse it - hence slower ageing and longevity.

Mitochondria, gut and mental health

Pentadecanoic acid has also shown benefits in

  • improving mitochondrial efficiency to elevate energy and activity levels and reduce cellular stress.

  • encouraging the production of butyrate ; an important short-chain fatty acid that helps to reduce gut inflammation.

  • supporting sleep and mood disorders - potentially better than omega 3s.

If you want to geek out further take a look here .

Food vs Supplementation

This odd-chain fatty acid is easily found in food and if you have a varied diet, getting enough for your needs should be simple enough. Choose foods like:

  • Dairy products

  • Ruminant meats (e.g., beef, bison, lamb)

  • Salmon

  • Cheese

  • Potatoes

  • Peanuts

  • Beans

  • Seeds

  • Durian fruit

As always these should make up a balanced diet of other food varieties too to ensure overall holistic healthcare and with consideration to your individual needs.

So should you supplement? It’s important to remember that supplements are exactly that, a supplement to your diet. Ideally, we’d get all the nutrients we need from the food on our plate but if you don’t eat a food or key nutrient, or don’t eat enough of it for your needs, supplementing is an appropriate approach to take.

Taking C15:0 alongside your omega-3 for three months can be a great opportunity to assess its benefits for yourself. You’ll get both fatty acids that enable flexible and strong cellular function, support reduced oxidation and inflammation and potentially increase your energy and blood sugar metabolism too.

Or, you can ramp up your beef, salmon and seed intake!


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Healf