Acetyl-l-Carnitine Protects Heart and Arteries

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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An experimental animal study with diabetic rats shows that Acetyl-l-carnitine1 reduced free radical damage in arteries, prevented deterioration of the heart, and reduced stiffening of the arteries that otherwise routinely occurs during diabetes.

Exposure of the cardiovascular system to higher-than-normal levels of sugar causes multiple forms of damage, especially the sugar-cross linking of flexible structures such as the heart and arteries.  This glycation or caramelization of healthy structures is akin to cementing them with sugar – like letting honey sit on a counter until it hardens.  This is a major reason why diabetics tend to die from heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems.

This new study is an animal study during which rats are made diabetic and some are given Acetyl-l-carnitine.  The study clearly shows that Acetyl-l-carnitine improves the flexibility of arteries and integrity of the structure of the left ventricle of the heart.  This is a finding of significant public health importance considering the tens of millions of Americans with higher-than-normal blood sugar.

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Aorta Stiffness  Eur J Clin Invest.  Chang KC, Tseng CD, Lu SC, Liang JT, Wu MS, Tsai MS, Hsu KL.

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