Aging and rejuvenation: the fat connection

ALC’s (Acetyl L-Carnitine) essential role in fat metabolism. Cells are constantly breaking down fat molecules and making new ones. This is how cells

  • maintain and repair their internal and external membranes;
  • adjust the structure of these membranes in response to changing conditions;
  • take advantage of the energy contained in dietary fats.

The processing of dietary fats takes place largely in a specialized organelle called the “mitochondrion”. Cells typically contain from one to thousands of mitochondria. ALC is used to ‘tag’ fatty acids, marking them for transport into mitochondria where they can be processed.

ALC as a treatment for aging. As people age, their cells age, and their mitochondria age. The mitochondrial membranes develop skewed proportions of the various molecules they are made of – particularly the lipid molecules which are made from fatty acids. This disrupts the functions of complex nanomachinery which resides in the membranes. And that, in turn, leads to defective transport of raw materials into the mitochondria, and to a decline in energy production by the nanomachines that extract energy from fats and sugars. As a mitochondrion’s efficiency declines, it provides less energy to the cell it belongs to – energy that the cell needs for maintaining and replacing biological structures. In other words, the cells become decrepit and so does the person they belong to.

The current view is that ALC supplementation reverses this decline in mitochondrial function. It rejuvenates mitochondria, and the boost in useful energy that results from this enables cells to behave more youthfully, too. Youthful cells translates into youthful people.

Potential uses of ALC. Since ALC plays a central role in the production of energy in cells of all kinds, it can ameliorate many different conditions that involve cellular energy deficiency or impaired fat metabolism. For example, it can help to ‘burn off’ excess fat and increase endurance during exercise.

But ALC also has effects that are independent of energy production. For example, ALC enhances the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it stimulates the synthesis of protein, and it affects the fluidity of biological membranes. The mechanisms are poorly understood, but we can nevertheless exploit them to alter the performance of our bodies and minds.

Medical conditions which have responded well to ALC supplements include:

  • Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc.
  • neuropathy and encephalopathy
  • macular degeneration, eye-lens stiffening
  • HIV-related lipodystrophy
  • increased fat metabolism and endurance
  • diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
  • cardiovascular problems
  • depression, memory decline
  • low libido and erectile dysfunction
  • MS-related fatigue
  • noise-induced hearing loss
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • nerve injury

For a more detailed discussion of Acetyl L-Carnitine, and the medical studies that support their use, see the article at:

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