Annie Murphy Paul: What we learn before we’re born
“Our health and well being throughout our lives is crucially effected by the nine months we spend in the womb.“
We all know that if there is any time in a women’s life that proper nutrition is considered the most important, it is the time she spends carrying a child. This is common knowledge. We have evidence of this in our millions of books and classes regarding nutrition while pregnant. Down to the everyday prenatal multivitamin recommended by most physicians. Given the obvious importance of what you eat during pregnancy and how it can effect your child for life, it behooves you to get it right. You only get one shot. However,we now know that there is more to it than that. What you experience in life while pregnant is also translated onto your child. This can majorly effect your child’s life and his or her predispositions. The fetus is forming it’s knowledge of the outside world and it’s only means of information is that which is passed down from the mother. Fetuses take cues from the intrauterine environment and tailor their physiology accordingly. This can effect everything from the speed of the baby’s metabolism to emotional and cognitive performance. In other words, you are not only what you eat, but also what your mother eats as well.
Dallas and Mellisa Hartwig from The Whole9 had a great interview with Chris Kresser on the subject of eating Paleo while pregnant. Chris is the author of The Healthy Baby Code that I highly recommend to all women who wish to optimize their eating for the health of the child. The link is at the bottom of this page.
Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. In living cells, it is required for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol (intracellular fluid) into the mitochondria during the breakdown of lipids (fats) for the generation of metabolic energy. ( In laymen terms, it grabs the fats and carries them into the stove for fuel ) Carnitine exists in two stereoisomers: it’s biologically active form L-carnitine, ( the one we’re talking about) and the biologically inactive D-carnitine.
While most studies regarding the performance enhancing properties of L-carnitine have been centered around its role in mitochondrial β-oxidation, whereas supplementing with L-carnitine aided in fat burning. New studies however, have investigated another mechanism by which supplementing with L-carnitine could positively impact exercise recovery. Through cardiovascular research, it has been found that L-carnitine also enhances endothelial function. (The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood in the lumen and the rest of the vessel wall. The endothelium has many important functions such as vasoconstriction and dilation, blood clotting, and acts as a filter.) The hypothesis that L-carnitine supplementation may aide in exercise recovery is centered on improving blood flow to muscle tissues and decreasing hypoxic stress and its resulting sequelae (consequences). These studies have shown a decrease in markers of purine catabolism ( a byproduct of which is uric acid), free radical generation and muscle soreness as a result of L-carnitine supplementation. Subsequently, after direct assessment of muscle tissue damage via magnetic resonance imaging, it has been shown that L-carnitine does have the ability to reduce tissue damage related to hypoxic stress.