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Acetyl-L-carnitine -May just help

Posted by Gerhard Fourie on

Written on the 28 March 2016 by The Compounding Team

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid, (a building block for proteins), that is naturally produced in the body. Acetyl-L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes; for which Your Solution Compounding Pharmacy regularly compounds medications.
Acetyl-L-carnitine helps supply the brain with energy by improving energetics in the mitochondrion, the cell's energy generator. Acetyl-L-carnitine also promotes biosynthesis of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for brain and nerve function.
L-Carnitine works best when combined with CoQ10. -See also our Article on The Wonder of CoQ10.

References, Studies and anecdotal reports indicate that Acetyl-L-carnitine could possibly be effective for:

  1. Improving memory problems in elderly people
  2. Improving memory in people who use alcohol excessively. Taking acetyl-L-carnitine seems to improve memory in 30-60 year-old people whose use of alcohol has produced long-term thinking problems
  3. Reducing nerve pain, (neuropathy), caused by diabetes. Acetyl-L-carnitine reduces pain best in people who have not had diabetes for a long time, or who have poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
  4. Treating Peyronie's disease, a connective tissue disease in men. Acetyl-L-carnitine seems to be more effective than a drug called tamoxifen for reducing pain and slowing worsening of the condition
  5. Treating male infertility caused by inflammation of some reproductive organs and tissues, (prostate, seminal vesicles, and the epididymis). Taking acetyl-L-carnitine by mouth, along with L-carnitine for 6 months, seems to increase sperm count and sperm movement. The carnitines are used following 2 months of treatment with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, (NSAID), such as aspirin
  6. Treating symptoms of age-related testosterone deficiency, (male menopause or andropause). Taking acetyl-L-carnitine by mouth along with propionyl-L-carnitine seems to help symptoms related to declining male hormone levels. This combination taken for 6 months seems to improve sexual dysfunction, depression, and fatigue in much the same way the male hormone testosterone does
  7. Treating a genetic condition called fragile X syndrome, which can cause behavioural disturbances such as hyperactivity, along with mental retardation, autism, and alterations in appearance. A preliminary study of 17 boys found that Acetyl-L-Carnitine might help to reduce hyperactive behaviour associated with this condition
  8. Improving blood flow to the brain. Administering a single dose of acetyl-L-carnitine intravenously, (IV), seems to produce short-term improvements in blood flow in the brains of people who have poor blood circulation in the brain.
  9. Treating Alzheimer's disease. Acetyl-L-carnitine is more likely to help those with early-onset of Alzheimer's disease, who are less than 66 years of age, and have a faster rate of disease progression and mental decline.
  10. Depression. Some research suggests acetyl-L-carnitine might improve mood and decrease depression in elderly people
  11. Muscle weakness caused by medications taken for HIV disease. Some research suggests acetyl-L-carnitine might help relieve muscle weakness caused by some HIV treatments.
  12. Treatment for Down syndrome
  13. Thinking problems related to Lyme's disease
  14. Treatment of Cataracts

Acetyl-L-carnitine is reported to be likely safe for most adults. It may cause some side effects including stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and restlessness. A "fishy" odor of the urine, breath, and sweat has been reported.
Not enough is known about the use of acetyl-L-carnitine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid use.
There is some concern that acetyl-L-carnitine might interfere with thyroid hormones. Rather not use acetyl-L-carnitine if you have an under-active thyroid.
An increase in the number or seriousness of seizures has been reported in people with a history of seizures who have used L-carnitine by mouth or by IV (intravenously). Since L-carnitine is related to acetyl-L-carnitine, there is a concern that this might also occur with acetyl-L-carnitine. If you have ever had a seizure, don't take acetyl-L-carnitine, before consulting your physician.

Please contact Your Solution Compounding Pharmacy for more information about acetyl-L-carnitine, or visit us at 1/6 Pine Rivers Office Park, 205 Leitchs Rd. Brendale, QLD.

Further reading and References:
1. 12761 Benvenga S, Amato A, Calvani M, Trimarchi F. Effects of carnitine on thyroid hormone action. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004;1033:158-67. View abstract.
2. Anon. Carnitor (levocarnitine) package insert. Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc, Gaithersburg, MD. December 1999.
3. Bachmann HU, Hoffmann A. Interaction of food supplement L-carnitine with oral anticoagulant acenocoumarol. Swiss Med Wkly 2004;134:385.
4. Barditch-Crovo P, Toole J, Hendrix CW, et al. Anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activitiy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of adefovir dipivoxyl (9-[2-(bis-pivaloyloxymethyl)-phosphonylmethoxyethyl]adenine) in HIV-infected patients. J Infect Dis 1997;176:406-13. View abstract.
5. Bella R, Biondi R, Raffaele R, Pennisi G. Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on geriatric patients suffering from dysthymic disorders. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1990;10:355-60. View abstract.
6. Biagiotti G, Cavallini G. Acetyl-L-carnitine vs tamoxifen in the oral therapy of Peyronie's disease: a preliminary report. BJU Int 2001;88:63-7.. View abstract.
7. Bidzinska B, Petraglia F, Angioni S, et al. Effect of different chronic intermittent stressors and acetyl-l-carnitine on hypothalamic beta-endorphin and GnRH and on plasma testosterone levels in male rats. Neuroendocrinology 1993;57:985-90. View abstract.
8. Brass EP. Pivalate-generating prodrugs and carnitine homeostasis in man. Pharmacol Rev 2002;54:589-98. View abstract.
9. Brooks JO 3rd, Yesavage JA, Carta A, Bravi D. Acetyl L-carnitine slows decline in younger patients with Alzheimer's disease: a reanalysis of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using the trilinear approach. Int Psychoger 1998;10:193-203. View abstract.
10. Campos Y, Arenas J. Muscle carnitine deficiency associated with zidovudine-induced mitochondrial myopathy. Ann Neurol 1994;36:680-1. View abstract.
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45. Lo Giudice P, Careddu A, Magni G, et al. Autonomic neuropathy in streptozotocin diabetic rats: effect of acetyl-L-carnitine. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2002;56:173-80. View abstract.
46. Marthaler NP, Visarius T, Kupfer A, Lauterburg BH. Increased urinary losses of carnitine during ifosfamide chemotherapy. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 1999;44:170-2. View abstract.
47. Martinez E, Domingo P, Roca-Cusachs A. Potentiation of acenocoumarol action by L-carnitine. J Intern Med 1993;233:94.
48. Mayeux R, Sano M. Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. N Engl J Med 1999;341:1670-9.
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50. Mintz M. Carnitine in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. J Child Neurol 1995;10:S40-4. View abstract.
51. Moncada ML, Vicari E, Cimino C, et al. Effect of acetylcarnitine treatment in oligoasthenospermic patients. Acta Europ Fertil 1992;23:221-4. View abstract.
52. Montgomery SA, Thal LJ, Amrein R. Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2003;18:61-71.. View abstract.
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54. Onofrj M, Fulgente T, Melchionda D, et al. L-acetylcarnitine as a new therapeutic approach for peripheral neuropathies with pain. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1995;15:9-15. View abstract.
55. Opala G, Winter S, Vance C, et al. The effect of valproic acid on plasma carnitine levels. Am J Dis Child 1991;145:999-1001. View abstract.
56. Palmero S, Leone M, Prati M, et al. The effect of L-acetylcarnitine on some reproductive functions in the oligoasthenospermic rat. Horm Metab Res 1990;22:622-6. View abstract.
57. Passeri M, Cucinotta D, Bonati PA, et al. Acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of mildly demented elderly patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1990;10:75-9. View abstract.
58. Pettegrew JW, Klunk WE, Panchalingam K, et al. Clinical and neurochemical effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging 1995;16:1-4. View abstract.
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