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Expanding Health Span

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Health span" is a term that describes how long we remain healthy, enjoying life, doing what we want to be doing, thanks to overall body and eye health. This is in contrast to "life span," which refers to how long we live.

Expanding health span is our goal, and biochemistry and nutrition science are ​major players in health span. 


On a cellular basis, oxygen is mostly used in organelles called mitochondria. These organelles have been called our cells power-plants, because this is where our food fuel (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) is converted into a useful form of energy called adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), which every cell uses to carry out necessary biochemical processes.

Unfortunately, oxygen can also be converted into a deleterious form called reactive oxygen species (ROS), which include free radicals that arise as toxic by-products of everyday normal metabolism and cause our mitochondria to age too quickly, causing us to lose years from our health span.

One of the major ROS mitochondria-protection micronutrients that dramatically declines with the aging process is carnitine, an amino acid that transports fatty acids from the diet into the mitochondria to be converted into ATP cellular energy. This decline results in significant cellular loss of the master antioxidant, glutathione, as well as vitamin C, which makes the mitochondria more vulnerable to free radical attack and DNA damage. This substantially increases our risk for full body cellular degeneration.

Aside from its metabolic activity, a compound called acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC), the neuro protective form of carnitine, has demonstrated cytoprotective, antioxidant, and antiapoptotic effects in the nervous system, by reducing the concentration of glutamate in the synapses, which is suggested to amplify nerve growth factor responsiveness.

A recent rat study published in the April 2017​Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy found that ALC injections had a beneficial effect on the regeneration of unmyelinated fiber in the sciatic nerve, while a May 2017 peer-reviewed article published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research proposed ALC to address synaptic energy states and mitochondrial dysfunction in the geriatric.


ALC science will continue to be on our must watch list, since it's an important health span player.

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff


Expanding health span is our goal, as well as keeping our customers apprised of science-based lifestyle approaches suggested to do so. The CDC Health Impact Pyramid ​used as ​today's Friday Pearl graphic, ​clearly suggests that socioeconomic factors including poverty, education, housing, and inequality have the largest health care cost and health span impact in our country.

The obvious question: Shouldn't that be where government health care reform starts?

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