Omega 5: what it is for and how to take it

Omega 5 is a little known compound, but with important health benefits. Where is it obtained from? How is it used? Here we tell you!

Last update: 13 March, 2022

Much is known about the health-promoting fatty acids that are ingested through the diet. However, little is said about omega 5, also known as “punic fatty acid” or “PUA”, for its acronym in English. Its main source is pomegranate seeds (Punica granatum)fruit from which its name is obtained.

In particular, it is estimated that 70% of all the fatty acids present in pomegranate seeds correspond to punicic acid. This is considered one of its main bioactive compounds. In fact, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other effects associated with the prevention and treatment of certain diseases are attributed to it. Do you want to know more about it? Read on!

What is omega 5?

Omega 5 is known as punicic acid (PA) or “tricosanic acid”. It is characterized by being a polyunsaturated fatty acid with 18 carbon atoms. It owes its name to the fact that the first of the 3 double bonds it presents appears at carbon 5 of the carbon chain, when counted from right to left.

It has similarities to conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) and is produced from the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6. Science gave it the name of its main food source, the Punica granatum L., also known as pomegranate. Hence it is known as “punic acid”.

Magazine Lipids in Health and Disease He reported that 70% of punicic acid and its isomers are found in pomegranate seed oil. However, it is also present in snake gourd seeds, which contain between 32% and 40%.

Omega 5 is associated with positive health effects. Specifically, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

What is omega 5 for?

As explained by some researchers in a review published in Journal of Food Science and Technologyomega 5 draws attention for being a family of conjugated fatty acids.

In fact, has been classified as a “super conjugated fatty acid”, with more powerful effects than those of CLA. Let’s take a closer look at its properties.

antioxidant property

Pomegranate seed fat has been shown to have 2-3 times more omega 5 than red wine or green tea. Punicic acid blocks free radicals that lead to increased oxidative stress.

In this way, it reduces the risk of diseases related to oxidative mechanisms. In addition, it has been determined that it favors the reduction of lipid peroxidation and LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

antidiabetic properties

In type 2 diabetes, cells become increasingly insensitive to insulin, a hormone that transports sugar into the cell. In advanced stages of the disease, insulin resistance is greater, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.

An investigation determined that when punicic acid was included in the diet of diabetic rats, their serum insulin levels improved. Similar results were found in the work of McFarlin, in which 61 milligrams of AP were administered daily in the diet of mice. In any case, more evidence is required to assess these effects in humans.

May reduce cardiovascular risk factors

Omega 5 acid is beneficial to prevent cardiovascular diseases. This is largely due to its ability to decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

In addition, due to its antioxidant property, It prevents the formation of plaques that clog the arteries. In this way, the danger of a myocardial infarction is avoided.

Helps prevent obesity and metabolic syndrome

PA and other natural compounds in pomegranate seed oil activate blockers of certain pro-inflammatory substances. This condition lowers blood triglyceride levels while increasing “good” or HDL cholesterol. In addition, it improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar values.

In research on obese rats, punicic acid was found to ameliorate obesity-related metabolic and inflammatory changes and insulin resistance. Receptors known as PPARs are activated that stop the activity of certain pro-inflammatory compounds.

Modulates intestinal inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the trigger for serious diseases in the intestine, including inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. PPAR receptors are recognized as inhibitors of intestinal inflammation.

As already mentioned, omega 5 activates this receptor and regulates the function of macrophages and T cells, which improves intestinal inflammation in experimental animals. However, this fatty acid was unable to reverse severe inflammatory lesions.

Brain cell protector

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive damage and death of nerve cells. It is also accompanied by high levels of inflammatory biomarkers and oxidative stress. Punicic acid has shown strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Omega 5 enters the blood-brain barrier along with other fatty acids, allowing antioxidants to be absorbed by neurons. This helps delay premature aging.

It is believed that its consumption can contribute to the prevention and treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, They appear frequently in old age.

Helps regenerate the skin

Punicic acid favors the synthesis of keratinocytes in the epidermis. These cells help with the healing process for burns and other injuries such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

For this reason, this component used as an ingredient in the manufacture of cosmetic soaps to improve the overall appearance of the skin. Its antibacterial, analgesic and antioxidant properties help prevent premature aging.

In cosmetics, omega 5 is used to protect the skin against oxidative stress.

How is omega 5 consumed?

In general, omega 5 can be obtained by consuming pomegranate. However, it is also available as a supplement and cosmetic product. Let’s see.

1. Omega 5 capsules

In 2013, the first omega 5 capsules came onto the market. It is a natural and ecological product, so its possible side effects are cancelled.

However, before purchasing this supplement, it is always advisable to consult your doctor about the condition you want to prevent or treat. It is not suggested to be used as a substitute for medications or meals.

2. Fruit

Regular consumption of pomegranate allows you to obtain light doses of omega 5. Incidentally, it also provides polyphenols, anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds that benefit health.

3. Skin oil

Omega 5 oil is packaged in bottles to be used directly on the skin. For dermatological and cosmetic treatments It is found in soaps, creams, lotions and in mixtures with other vegetable oils.

Omega 5 to take care of health

According to science, omega 5 represents a new non-traditional therapeutic approach for the treatment and prevention of some diseases.

However, Further investigation of its application in humans is required. Until now, animal models have been used more than clinical studies in people. It is essential to consider medical support before starting its use.

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