Arachidic C20:0

Optimal Result: 0.24 - 0.4 wt %.

Arachidic acid is very long, 20-carbon backbone saturated fatty acid (20:0). It is found in various nuts, soybeans, peanut oil, corn oil, and cocoa butter. In addition to dietary sources, it can be synthesized by the hydrogenation of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid or the elongation of stearic acid.


- Kihara A. Very long-chain fatty acids: elongation, physiology and related disorders. The Journal of Biochemistry. 2012;152(5):387-395.

- Liu M, Zuo LS, Sun TY, et al. Circulating Very-Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids Were Inversely Associated with Cardiovascular Health: A Prospective Cohort Study and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2020;12(9).

- Musa OM. Some nutritional characteristics of kernel and oil of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Journal of oleo science. 2010;59(1):1-5.

- Martin SA, Brash AR, Murphy RC. The discovery and early structural studies of arachidonic acid. Journal of lipid research. 2016;57(7):1126-1132.

- Tsou P-L, Wu C-J. Sex-dimorphic association of plasma fatty acids with cardiovascular fitness in young and middleaged general adults: subsamples from nhanes 2003–2004. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1558.

- Ardisson Korat AV, Malik VS, Furtado JD, et al. Circulating Very-Long-Chain SFA Concentrations Are Inversely Associated with Incident Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition. 2019;150(2):340-349.

- Lee YS, Cho Y, Shin MJ. Dietary Very Long Chain Saturated Fatty Acids and Metabolic Factors: Findings from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013. Clinical nutrition research. 2015;4(3):182-189.

- Li D, Misialek JR, Jing M, et al. Plasma phospholipid verylong-chain SFAs in midlife and 20-year cognitive change in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC): a cohort study. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2020;111(6):1252-1258.

- Lemaitre RN, Jensen PN, Hoofnagle A, et al. Plasma Ceramides and Sphingomyelins in Relation to Heart Failure Risk: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Circulation: Heart Failure. 2019;12(7):e005708.

- Lemaitre RN, King IB, Rice K, et al. Erythrocyte very long-chain saturated fatty acids associated with lower risk of incident sudden cardiac arrest. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 2014;91(4):149-153.

What does it mean if your Arachidic C20:0 result is too high?

Intake of foods containing these VLSFAs or use of products containing them can contribute to higher levels.

Increased intake of precursor fatty acids, or SNPs in the elongase enzyme, may alter levels.

The health implications of elevated VLSFAs levels are evolving, though they are generally found to be beneficial in health and aging. Several meta-analyses suggest a beneficial association of very long chained saturated fatty acids with cardiovascular health outcomes as well as lower risks of type 2 diabetes, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and coronary disease. These VLSFAs may also be important in neural development and cognition. The mechanisms of these very long chained saturated fatty acids are not fully known. Because VLSFAs are components of ceremides involved in apoptosis, there is strong evidence that VLSFAs are protective against apoptosis and cell death.

What does it mean if your Arachidic C20:0 result is too low?

Decreased dietary intake of these saturated fatty acids, or avoidance of products containing them, can result in low levels. Some VLSFAs can be synthesized from other fatty acids. Therefore, decreased levels of precursors, lack of vitamin and mineral cofactors, or SNPs in the elongase enzyme may also contribute to low levels. Specific deficiency in VLSFAs is not well studied. Though, due to their importance in brain development and their associations with improved health outcomes, as outlined above, research is evolving.

Frequently asked questions

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