Thursday, September 10, 2015

Stearic acid improves mitochondrial health and function

The fatty acid stearic acid increases the performance of our cellular powerhouses, the mitochondria inside cells. They are responsible for cellular energy, metabolism (fats, amino acids), and health (apoptosis; normal cell death). Not only our energy levels, but general health and longevity depend on cellular mitochondrial health.

Now a signaling effect of stearic acid has been shown to improve mitochondrial health in an animal model, with the same mechanism existing in people suggesting that it may have benefits in humans, as well. Mitochondrial defects are associated with various disorders affecting nerves, muscles, and brain, including neurodegenerative and aging problems.

Stearic acid is a fatty acid normally found in our diet, and it has been proven to NOT contribute to heart disease like other saturated fats. Much has been written about stearic acid, including numerous unbalanced accounts of it being unhealthy in minute amounts based largely on unrepresentative test tube studies, despite robust evidence that it is a common dietary fat consumed in significant quantities (up to 10 grams a day) as part of a healthy diet and a constituent of virtually all natural fats and oils that has shown positive benefits in numerous human studies.