Lignoceric (Genova)

Optimal Result: 0.63 - 2.45 µmol/L.

Lignoceric Acid is a saturated fatty acids, in particular it is part of the group of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs).

Accumulation of certain very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs), such as lignoceric acid, is associated with degenerative diseases of the central nervous system like adrenoleukodystrophy.

There are a number of genetic disorders involving accumulation of sphingolipids, usually due to the lack of enzymes necessary for the turnover of membrane VLCFAs, which include behenic, lignoceric, and hexacosanoic acids as well as the unsaturated members of the C22-24 classes, particularly nervonic acid.


– Kantor, P.F., et al., The antianginal drug trimetazidine shifts cardiac energy metabolism from fatty acid oxidation to glucose oxidation by inhibiting mitochondrial long-chain 3- ketoacyl coenzyme A thiolase. Circ Res, 86(5): p. 580-8 (2000).

– Very Long Chain Fatty Acids Are Functionally Involved in Necroptosis. [L]

What does it mean if your Lignoceric (Genova) result is too low?

Lignoceric acid has 24 carbons and no double bonds (24:0). It can be formed from behenic acid using the elongase enzyme. It is found in peanuts, nut and seed oils. It can also be found in wood tar. Lignoceric acid is one of many fatty acids which compose brain tissue and myelin.

Decreased dietary intake of 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.

What does it mean if your Lignoceric (Genova) result is too high?

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. The effect is mediated by hormonal responses, mainly norepinephrine and insulin, and is exacerbated by drugs that modulate energy metabolism such as the anti-anginal drug, trimetazidine.

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