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:
- Improving memory problems in elderly people
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Depression. Some research suggests acetyl-L-carnitine might improve mood and decrease depression in elderly people
- 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.
- Treatment for Down syndrome
- Thinking problems related to Lyme's disease
- 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:
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