Acetyl-l-Carnitine for Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Male Sexual Function
Monday, December 17, 2012
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Imagine a drug that could help fix high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and male erectile problems with no side effects. No doubt, it would be a blockbuster. Welcome to the world of acetyl-l-carnitine, a nutrient with human science showing that it does just that.
Italian researchers recently demonstrated in people at risk for increased cardiovascular disease that 2,000 mgs per day of acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC)1 over a 24 week period lowered blood pressure and improved insulin resistance. Interestingly, improvement continued even in the following eight weeks after ALC was discontinued. ALC was shown to boost the all-important blood sugar regulating compound adiponectin. Of course, ALC is well known as a nutrient that is essential for burning fat by cells, helping clear away fat sludge and consequent liver related insulin resistance.
An earlier study with 4,000 mg of carnitine (2,000 mg was in the acetyl-l-carnitine form) in men ages 60 – 74 showed that this vital nutrient was far more effective than testosterone at improving male erectile function and offsetting age associated decline. ALC restored normal erections during sleep (nocturnal penile tumescence), which is the key marker of physiological health of male sexual function. Additionally, ALC directly improved the sex lives of these men, based on significant improvement in International Index of Erectile Function scores.
The combination of elevating blood pressure, elevating blood sugar, and declining sexual function is common in men over age 50. Blood pressure medication is well known for its adverse sexual side effects, as it actually reduces blood flow to the penis. Here is a natural solution that simultaneously addresses three important health issues. I would suggest 500 mg - 1,000 mg of ALC at each meal and at bedtime. Also, 1,000 mg of ALC before aerobic exercise will enhance fat burning from exercise; this could be done on exercise days instead of the dose taken before a meal.
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