Hexacosanoic acid is a saturated fatty acid. It is a very long-chain fatty acid. Accumulation of certain very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) is associated with degenerative diseases of the central nervous system.
The common lifestyle of low physical exertion and high fat diet sets a metabolic pattern that can lead to increasing levels of VLCFAs in plasma and erythrocyte membranes.
Fatty acids are necessary chemicals in the body. They are found in more complex chemicals such as triglycerides, phospholipids, sphingolipids, glyco-lipids, and others. The bottom line is that fatty acids are absolutely necessary for many normal body functions. We couldn’t live without them.
Fatty acids are found in the foods we eat. They are in particularly high amounts in fatty or greasy foods, fried foods, and oils. They are also present in large amounts in nuts and seeds. Meat, even lean cuts, have a lot of fatty acid in them. On the other hand, vegetables, fruits, and starchy foods are relatively low in fatty acids.
Very often the body has too much fatty acid around, either because we ate too much or because the body produced too much internally. We need to get rid of the excess fatty acid. Fatty acids are then broken down or “oxidized” to produce energy or heat for the body. There is a delicate balance between having enough fatty acid around and having too much. The body normally has finely tuned mechanisms for maintaining this balance.
When the balance is shifted, disease often occur.
– High hexacosanoic acid levels can be associated with coronary artery disease. [L]
– High values of hexacosanoic acid in plasma can be due to peroxisomal disorders. Those disorders are a group of inherited metabolic diseases. [L]
– High levels of hexacosanoic acid levels have been found in patients with dementia. [L]
– High levels of hexacosanoic acid levels seem to be associated with metabolic syndrome. [L]
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