Life Extension Update Exclusive
L-carnitine reduces physical and mental fatigue, improves cognitive function in centenarians
A report published in the December, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition described the results of a study conducted by Italian researchers which found a positive effect for L-carnitine (levo-carnitine) on energy levels and cognitive function in individuals 100 years of age and older. The age-related decline in L-carnitine, which plays a role in cellular energy metabolism, could be involved in the fatigue experienced by many older individuals.
Twenty-four men and forty-six women aged 100 to 106 who reported experiencing fatigue after even slight physical activity were randomized to receive 2 grams L-carnitine per day or a placebo for six months. Physical examinations at the beginning and end of the treatment period determined the participants’ body mass index, total fat mass and muscle mass. Blood samples were drawn monthly and analyzed for cholesterol, carnitine levels and other factors. Mental and physical fatigue was scored, and cognitive function was evaluated before and after the treatment period. Physical activity was assessed each week with a six minute walking test.
There were three deaths among the group that received L-carnitine and five in the placebo group over the course of the study. The group that received L-carnitine experienced an increase in plasma carnitine concentrations. They also experienced lower total cholesterol, significant reduction of fat mass, gains in total muscle mass, a reduction in physical and mental fatigue and fatigue severity, and better cognitive function scores compared with those received a placebo. Additionally, walking capacity improved in the carnitine group.
Because L-carnitine is necessary for mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid oxidation, an elevation in carnitine levels could increase the fatty acid oxidation rate, thereby lowering glucose utilization, preserving muscle glycogen, and ensuring optimal production rates of oxidative adenosine triphosphate (ATP, which releases energy in the cell). “Our study indicates that oral administration of levo-carnitine produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscular mass, and facilitates an increased capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions,” the authors conclude.
Mild cognitive impairment Nutrition to stay sharp
It is estimated that up to one third of adults will experience a gradual decline in cognitive function known as mild cognitive impairment as they age (Low LF et al 2004; Busse A et al 2003). Less severe than dementia, mild cognitive impairment is defined as cognitive defects that do not interfere with daily living. It may include slower thinking, a reduced ability to learn, and impaired memory. While many conventional physicians view these defects as an inevitable consequence of aging, newer research has uncovered possible reasons for mild cognitive impairment and has also identified potential therapies that may enable people to battle age-related mental decline more effectively than ever before. Minimizing cognitive defects will become even more important as the average life span continues to lengthen and hundreds of thousands of people head into their 80s and 90s, when the risk for cognitive decline is greatest.
Acetyl-L-carnitine has been studied extensively relative to the treatment of dementia. It is believed to be a precursor in the synthesis of acetylcholine and participates in cellular energy production as well as in the removal of toxic accumulation of fatty acids. In one study, 30 participants with mild dementia were treated with 2 g daily of acetyl-L-carnitine, and 30 were treated with placebo. The results after three months showed a significant improvement in the group receiving the acetyl-L-carnitine (Passeri M et al 1990). Several other studies also indicate that acetyl-L-carnitine may be helpful in improving cognitive function in patients and possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Rai G et al 1990; Bonavita E 1986). Animal studies have shown that acetyl-L-carnitine reverses the age-related decline in the number of neuron membrane receptors (McDaniel MA et al 2003), and an analysis of 21 clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease in rats showed it has demonstrated significant efficacy versus placebo (Ames BN et al 2004).
A major cause of aging is the deterioration of the energy producing components of the cell which results in reduced cellular metabolic activity, the accumulation of cellular debris, and eventual death of the cell.
The amino acid L-carnitine helps to maintain cellular energy metabolism by assisting in the transport of fat through the cell membrane and into the mitochondria within the cell, where these fats are oxidized to produce the cellular energy ATP.
Acetyl-L-carnitine arginate is a patented form of carnitine that stimulates the growth of neurites in the brain. Studies show that acetyl-L-carnitine arginate stimulates the growth of new neurites by an astounding 19.5%, which is almost four times better than acetyl-L-carnitine.
The acetylated form of L-carnitine (acetyl-L-carnitine) facilitates the release and synthesis of acetylcholine by donating its acetyl group to the production of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. Acetyl-L-carnitine also enhances the release of dopamine from neurons and helps it bind to dopamine receptors. Numerous human and animal studies validate the multiple beneficial mechanisms that acetyl-L-carnitine exerts in the brain.
Life Extension Vacations
Second Annual Life Extension Cruise
Our first cruise was so successful that we decided to offer another one in 2008! Attendees told us they were able to learn a lot about the latest in integrative therapies and anti-aging research and at the same time have plenty of fun aboard the cruise ship.
This time we will cruise the splendor of the Alaskan wilderness aboard Celebrity’s sumptuous Infinity. You’ll enjoy our Life Extension seminars, one-on-one consultations, a welcome aboard cocktail reception, exceptional personal service, award-winning cuisine, world-famous amenities, accommodations that are the most spacious at sea, and much more.
The second Life Extension Seminar at Sea will be a 7-night cruise on August 29, 2008.
Special features for Life Extension Members:
- Celebrity Concierge Class (191 sq ft) – from $1,973 per person
- Floor-to-ceiling glass doors
- Large sitting area
- Enhanced service
- Priority embarkation/disembarkation
- Fresh fruit and flowers
- Welcome champagne
- Hansgrohe massaging showerhead
Book by January 31, 2008, and receive an exceptional value coupon book with $200 in onboard savings.
For reservations or for more information please call Life Extension Vacations at 800-791-4457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to seeing you onboard!