What Is Mead Acid (20:3 n-9)?

3D-model of Mead acid (20:3 n-9) (src)

Mead acid, 20:3 n-9, also known as Eicosatrienoic acid, is a polyunsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.

In cases of essential fatty acid deficiency, an increased presence of mead acid in the blood may occur.

Mead acid is abundantly found in cartilage.

Understanding Mead Acid

Mead acid is recognized as an uncommon fatty acid that accumulates during insufficient dietary essential fatty acids (source ).

In the body, mead acid can be synthesized from oleic acid in the presence of essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD), although the conversion process is not fully understood (source ). Essential fatty acid deficiency is linked to metabolic conditions, including cancer development (source ).

Where to Encounter Mead Acid

Mead acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid, is found in vegetable oils, animal fats, and is an intermediate product in valeric acid production—a chemical used in plastics and other manufacturing processes.

Mead acid plays a vital role as a chiral compound in the production of pharmaceuticals, including atorvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, and thiothixene, a neuroleptic.

Production of Mead Acid

Mead acid is typically produced through a process involving the fermentation of carbohydrates, such as corn syrup, with an ethanologenic microorganism like yeast. Subsequently, an acid hydrolysis of the fermentation product forms mead acid.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.