Facts and Food Sources of Nervonic acid


Nervonic acid is a long chain unsaturated fatty acid and a monounsaturated analog of lignoceric acid. It is also called cis-15-tetracosenoic acid and selacholeic acid. It composes of choline, phosphoric acid, sphingosine, and fatty acid. It is found as an elongation product of oleic acid and its immediate precursor is being erucic acid. Particularly it is abundant in white matter of animal brains and in peripheral nervous tissues where nervonyl sphingolipids are embellished in myelin sheath of nerve fibers. It is a critical member of cerebrosides group which are fatty acids of glycophingolipids group, an important component of muscles and central nervous system and peripheral.

Firstly nervonic acid was discovered in 1927 by Tsujimoto M. in fats of Elasmobranch fishes, a subclass of condroitti class which includes fishes with fusiform or flatten bodies. The structure was discovered in the same year by Klenk E. who isolated it from cerebrosides of brain tissue. Its formula is C24H46O2. The sources to obtain nervonic acid are king salmon, flaxseed, seed of yellow mustard, sesame seeds, sockeye salmon and macadamia nuts.

This acid promotes brain functions and prevents demyelination. Research shows negative relationship between obesity-related risk factors and nervonic acid. It is helpful to treat demyelination associated disorders such as adrenoleukodystrophy and multiple sclerosis that occurs with low level of nervonic acid in sphingolipids.

Dietary Sources

Food name Weight (g) Nervonic acid (g)
Swordfish 85 0.076
Sesame seeds 150 0.053
Margarine 232 0.030
Quinoa 170 0.029
Macadamia nuts 134 0.024
Kielbasa 370 0.015
Turkey 113 0.015
Sockeye salmon 85 0.014
Coleslaw 191 0.008
Haddock fish 150 0.007
Flaxseeds 10.3 0.007
Sorghum 192 0.006
Plantains 118 0.004
Pizza 103 0.002
Morel mushrooms 66 0.002
Lobster 150 0.002
Cheddar cheese 132 0.001
Millet 119 0.001
Pork 113 0.001
Oyster 85 0.001


Health Benefits of Nervonic acid

  1. Brain health

Nervonic acid is a basic constituent of nerve cells and brain nerve fibers. Deficiency of nervonic acid causes series of brain associated diseases such as senile dementia, apoplexy, brain atrophy, cerebral alsy, insomnia, memory loss and forgetfulness. It is not endogenous and could be obtained by supplementation from dietary supplements and natural foods.

  1. Alzheimer’s disease

Cerebral atrophy and dementia prevention is a worldwide topic. Nervonic acid offers contribution to solution. Nervonic acid could cross the blood brain barrier completely and directly into the damaged parts of nerve fibers or nerve cells, so the damaged part of nerve fibers to protect sheath regeneration, dissolve effectively the channel of necrosis tissue, whilst repairing twisted or broken nerve fiber, advance the nutritional supply of nerve fibers, helping the elders to enhance memory, prevent and treat senile dementia.

  1. Cholesterol level

Nervonic acid is effective in regulating blood lipids, elevate good cholesterol and lower harmful cholesterol. It helps to lower incidence of heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It provides anti-fatigue, anti-aging and enhances immunity.


Being nervonic acid insoluble in water, it is found in form of capsules. Every time two doses or two times a day, one in the morning and other in the evening is recommended. The recommended dosage ranges from 200 mg-300 mg of pure nervonic acid. But still it is better to consult the doctor while taking nervonic acid in form of capsules.








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