"Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position
which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
There's little doubt that nearly everyone I know that has committed to
a loyal (not on-and-off) low carb lifestyle appears to be slowing their
aging process a bit. Many things are working together to contribute to
this effect, and in fact, there are further things you can do to slow it
In the news this week is a new recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences to cook food at minimum safe temperatures for short periods of time as they report a toxic compound is formed when sugar, proteins and fat are processed at cooking temperatures for long periods of time. This compound, they report may increase blood vessel damage in diabetics.
So what is this compound? They're called Advanced Glycation End products, or "AGEs" (they were formerly called "Maillard browning pigments.") They can prompt an angry reaction from the immune system, eventually damaging blood vessels. A lifelong diet high in AGEs leaves the immune system in a constant state of low-grade inflammation which damages the small and mid-sized arteries.
AGEs are associated with reduced tissue elasticity and impaired cell function resulting in a more rapid aging process. Appropriately named, aren't they?
They go on to report that the key to lowering AGEs is to cook for a short time in the presence of high humidity (boiling or steaming meats etc.) Of course the fact that all three elements must be present (sugar, proteins and fats) for AGEs to form. Does it make sense to anyone that eliminating the sugar part of the equation just might be a good idea too?
Sugar sweetened coffee, colas and chocolate drinks are loaded with AGEs. Understand that AGEs are formed as soon as sugars are combined with fats and proteins at room temperature. Cooking increases the formation of AGEs.
A Weapon in The Good Fight...
One of the most common characteristics of aging is a loss of energy. It is widely believed that one cause of this age-related decline in energy metabolism is due to loss of mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial membranes are considered by many scientists to be the likely subcellular site of age-related decline.
Enter acetyl-L-carnitine. It's well documented to be effective in many conditions, including: treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease; enhancing cerebro- and cardio-vascular blood flow; alleviating depression; improving memory and mental performance in normal humans and those suffering from Aging Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI): and improving immune function. But there's more to this wonder.
Carnitine and its esters prevent toxic accumulations of fatty acids and acyl CoA (in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively) while providing acetyl CoA for energy generation in the mitochondria.
Promising therapeutic applications of acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC, an ester form of carnitine) are derived from observations that this compound readily crosses the blood- brain barrier and improves neuronal energetics and repair mechanisms while modifying acetylcholine production in the Central Nervous System. ALC prevents toxic accumulations of fatty acids and acyl CoA (in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively) while providing acetyl CoA for energy generation in the mitochondria.
What all of this means is a marked improvement in both energy levels and slowed aging as observed repeatedly in human studies.
My Own Test
I began taking acetyl-L-Carnitine 1500 mg per day (three 500 mg capsules) nearly a full year ago. And I can feel comfortable saying I have experienced both results. Everyone guesses my age to be 7 to 9 years younger than I am in reality, and I've never had more energy (to which I credit a no-sugar diet, proper daily supplements, and my ALC routine.)
ALC is available in most healthfood stores and well stocked drug stores or supplement/vitamin shops. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is far superior to L-Carnitine (L-Carnitine L-Tartrate), so be sure you're buying the right thing. It's also available from Life Services Supplements (it's what I take.) See photo at right.
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