Nervonic acid is gaining popularity as treatment for neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. This long chain fatty acid (also called tetracosanoic acid, selacholeic acid and a monounsaturated analog of lignoceric acid) has proven to repair the damaged brain nerve pathways and promote regeneration of nerve cells.It's clear why Science Direct shared that Nervonic Acid can be an effective in the treatment for schizophrenia, psychosis, peroxisomal disorders, diabetes, alcoholism and other conditions.
What Is Nervonic Acid?
Nervonic acid is an essential oil and is one of the 20 total fatty acids found in food.
Unlike saturated fatty acids like palmitic acid stearic acid which has shown to cause cardiovascular diseases, Nervonic acid is a very long chain fatty acid used to restore Myelin in the brain and nervous system. The name comes from the latin word nervus, meaning nerve or sinew.
It is a natural component in some seed oils, corn oil, and some fish oils. It is more prevalent in niche crop plants.
Nervonic acid production has been synthesized in plants. It is a major component of fatty acids in multiple seed oil. The average nervonic acid content is high the Lunaria species. The fatty acid composition is a key component in many ongoing studies.
Nervonic acid is an important member of the group of the fatty acid cerebrosides. The molecular mechanisms are a close cousin of oleic acid and a precursor to erucic acid. It is a derivative of linoleic acid.
Nervonic acid is also found in breast milk and has been recommended in the maternal diet to help speed up the early stage development of the human brain tissue much like conjugated linoleic acid.
It is the raw material for myelin sheath generation.
What is the Myelin basic protein and the Myelin Sheath?
Myelin is the insulating layer made up of fatty acids and protein. The sheath is key to promoting human health by allowing electrical impulses to transmit along the neural cells. The lipid metabolism is a highly demanding process.
Breakdown of the myelin sheath has adverse effects on human health and significantly higher levels of demyelination diseases. Breakdown of the sheath slows down the electrical impulses and efficient transmission.
Causes of Low Levels of nervonic acid
Nervonic acid is essential for brain development. High carbohydrate diets that decrease fatty acid synthesis have been linked to low levels of nerve acid and other neurological diseases.
Further analysis is being done to look at links between decreased nervonic acid levels and diseases of the human brain.
Benefits of Nervonic Acid
Nervonic acid containing fats have a number of use cases in protecting brain nerve fibers. The fatty acid profiles have been linked to improved myelin synthesis, which is key to growing brain tissue and muting the effects of multiple sclerosis.
Nervonic acid does not cross the blood brain barrier, but it can repair damaged brain nerve pathways and help aide in the regeneration of nerve cells. Nervonic acid may also be an effective treatment to disease such as schizophrenia, psychosis, peroxisomal disorders, diabetes, alcoholism and other conditions.
There is more research and statistical analysis being done for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications of nervonic acid as well as other major fatty acids.
Long chain fatty acids may also promote healthy function of the central nervous system.
Nervonic acid has been reported to reduce the shaking associated with Parkinson's disease and the numbness caused by multiple sclerosis according to the US Department Of Health and Human Services.
Nervonic acid has also been shown to decrease obesity in a diet high in animal fat.
Dietary Supplementation with Nervonic Acid
Nervonic acid is concentrated in the white matter of our brains, myelin sheaths and in peripheral nervous tissue. There are few dietary supplements currently on the market today.
Once source supplementation purpleblow maple tree seed with the supplement Nervidyne.
Nervidyne contains 98% nervonic acid extract mixed with lion’s mane mushroom extract.
Further Reading on Nervonic Acid and other very long chain fatty acidsLocalization of nervonic acid beta-oxidation in human and rodent peroxisomes: Impaired oxidation in Zellweger syndrome and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy
Very interesting research on nervonic acid beta oxidation in human and rodent peroxisomes.
You can also read more about seed oil content and the average oil content in plants:
Nervonic Acid Production in Plants