Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC)


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Part One: Nutrition Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC) is the acetyl ester for the amino acid L-Carnitine which is widely known for having a primary role in the body’s ability to create ATP energy molecules from fat. Research shows supplementation capable of improving performances in endurance in individuals that suffer from inadequate ALC stores due to a variety of reasons including normal aging, inadequate dietary intake, high stress, etc. In cases of deficiency, ALC has been shown to increase ATP production in the body, which in turn increases energy and endurance in physical performance. ALC has also been shown to decrease Cortisol levels in the body. The overproduction of Cortisol in highly stressed individuals can create a cascade of premature aging and chronic diseases, disabilities and dysfunctions. ALC has become known as an anti-aging nutrient for its ability to slow the aging process and protect the brain and nervous system from premature deterioration. Refer back to “The Book of Personal Training” for a thorough review of Energy Metabolism, but in brief: L-Carnitine transports fatty acids inside the cell’s mitochondria. In sports and exercise performance, mitochondria are the “power plants” for energy production: taking fatty acids, glucose and oxygen and transforming them into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), CO2 and water. ATP is the fuel for every muscle contraction in the body. Carnitine deficiency decreases ATP levels decreasing both the energy and the recovery rate for strenuous activity. In Anti-Aging Medicine (AAM), one of the primary reasons many AAM doctors theorize why we age is due to reductions in mitochondria efficiency. ALC is naturally present in most of the body’s tissues including the brain, heart, muscles, organs and the testes in particular have high concentration of ALC. Since ALC levels decrease dramatically as we age, ALC may be needed to prevent ED and decreased sexual performance. Though ALC is closely related to L-Carnitine, ALC’s role becomes even more critical than L-Carnitine in Krebs Cycle and the Electron Transport System. Coenzyme A (the metabolized form of the vitamin pantothenic acid) combines with acetyls from ALC to form Acetyl-Coenzyme A (Acetyl-CoA or A-CoA), which is essential for ATP production during Aerobic Activity and for replenishing ATP during recovery from Anaerobic Activity. One possible reason for your older patients/clients complaining about “I have no energy!” may be the lack of physical activity coupled with poor nutrition leading to deficiency of ALC. Recommendation: Use for those lacking energy/performance, particularly aerobic performance, specifically when the most popular supplement modalities for low energy i.e. Iron and/or Vitamin B-12 has little of no effect on performance. The vegetarian diet may also create deficiency of certain amino acids. As always, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor first to have a physical and blood test reviewed before supplementation. Part Two: Exercise New research confirms something I have been preaching for decades! The Journal of the American College of Cardiology is reporting from two separate studies conducted by UT Southwestern Medical Researchers that how fast you can run a mile is the most accurate predictor of dying from heart disease! This is on top of a study reporting in Circulation over 66,000 people studied, fitness level lowered lifetime risk even in people with other risk factors. Researchers analyzed the Heart Disease risk of over 11,000 men at various age groups: 45, 55 and 65 years old. Fitness level was found to be the most accurate predictor of premature death from Heart Disease…more accurate than “traditional” risk factors such as age, systolic BP, diabetes, total cholesterol, smoking habits, etc. A 55 year old man, who ran a mile at 15 minutes, had a 30% lifetime risk of Heart Disease, while a 55 year old, who could do it in 8 minutes had a 10% risk! Heart Disease is the #1 Killer Worldwide. In a completely separate study, smokers who exercised had a 30% decrease in mortality compared to smokers who did not exercise. This is even more ammunition for my mission to convince the medical community that exercise, not drugs and surgery, are the answer to improving both longevity and quality of life! Best regards, Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA

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