What is Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL?
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid the body uses to turn fat into energy. It is not regarded as an essential nutrient because the body is capable of producing appropriate amounts of the substance. Nevertheless, supplemental Acetyl L-Carnitine Carnitine may enhance the ability of certain tissues to manufacture energy.
This effect has motivated some individuals with heart conditions and muscle diseases to use the supplement. However, the use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL has also significantly increased in popularity among those who wish to slow the cognitive decline that comes with age or impede the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the amino acid is considered one of the best options for those seeking a natural supplement to enhance energy, mood, memory and clarity.
There is no recommended daily allowance for Acetyl-L-Carnitine, except for the small percentage of people with genetic defects that hinder the body’s ability to manufacture the substance. Additionally, diseases of the brain, kidneys or liver may inhibit the body’s natural production of the amino acid. Certain drugs, particularly those in the anti-seizure category may reduce Acetyl-L-Carnitine levels, and therefore supplementation is recommended.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is the substance of choice, whether one has an inherent deficiency of the amino acid or just wishes to enhance his or her memory, mood or energy levels. This is because Acetyl-L-Carnitine is more bioavailable than plain L-Carnitine. The reason for this is that it is more efficient about crossing the brain-blood barrier. When taken orally, it quickly travels to the heart as well as the brain. Therefore, it is not merely considered an effective nootropic–a substance that enhances memory and cognition and facilitates learning–but also an excellent tool for general wellness and health. The latter is because it targets free radicals, and therefore works as an effective antioxidant.
To further understand Acetyl-L-Carnitine, one must realize that the acetyl group of amino acids play a vital role in producing crucial neurotransmitters. For example, the acetyl component enhances the body’s ability to manufacture acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter directly responsible for reasoning, memory, and other cognitive functions. When these levels are increased, more efficient learning is possible.
The primary dietary source of Acetyl-L-carnitine comes from foods such as dairy products and meat. However, if a therapeutic dose is desired, it is necessary to supplement with additional Acetyl-L-carnitine in the form of powder or capsules.
Acetyl-L-carnitine can be acquired as a supplement in various forms. These include
L-carnitine, which is the least expensive and most widely available. Nevertheless, many individuals prefer Acetyl-L-carnitine, as this is the substance most often used in studies for brain disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and learning disabilities. It has demonstrated better absorption and a higher success rate regarding the goals of consumers using the supplement.
Another form of the amino acid is Propionyl-L-carnitine, which can also be purchased in supplement form. However, this type is most often used for those with peripheral vascular disease or heart problems. Finally, Carnitine can be bought in D-carnitine form, but this type has been proven to interfere with natural L-carnitine and therefore may cause unwanted side effects. In some cases, L-carnitine may be taken in prescription form or administered intravenously by a licensed medical professional.
History of Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL
Because it is primarily found in food, there is not an extensive history of the actual use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine as a supplement in early cultures or civilizations. In 1980, however, the European medical community approved Acetyl-L-Carnitine as a medication to treat both neurological and heart diseases. Nevertheless, Acetyl-L-Carnitine could not be legally purchased in the United States until 1994. It is now sold as a dietary supplement in the US, but overseas it is regarded as a “drug,” and therefore is costlier in other countries than in the US.
Numerous studies have been conducted since its release to the supplement market, and most of this research has centered on overall brain health and cognitive function. Positive results were found in many of these studies, while others are still outstanding. The completion of additional research in the future is highly likely, due to early studies showing promise for this amino acid as a supplement.
Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Medical Uses
Acetyl-L-carnitine appears to have promise regarding an enhanced quality of life for individuals suffering from nerve damage or cognitive problems.
1. Cardiovascular Disorders
Basic Carnitine is mainly used for heart-related health disorders. This is because certain evidence suggests that it can enhance conventional treatments for angina and improve symptoms, thus reducing the need for synthetic medications. When combined with traditional therapies, it may also lower mortality rates following a heart attack or stroke.
Also, a few studies suggest that Carnitine may also be useful for cardiomyopathy, COPD, emphysema and a condition referred to as intermittent claudication, which simply means leg pain that occurs when a person runs or walks because of narrowed or clogged arteries. Concerning these conditions, the primary way in which Acetyl-L-Carnitine offers beneficial results is through energizing new cells that can then function in a more efficient manner.
2. Improvement in Cognitive Function
However, the primary use of the Acetyl-L-Carnitine form is to improve cognitive function and mental clarity, help individuals, learn at a rapid pace and improve necessary memory. For example, certain research projects have indicated that the form above of Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, may prevent Alzheimer’s disease or slow the progression of illness in those who have already been diagnosed. This type of the amino acids has also been researched as a treatment for depression in the elderly.
All the benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine regarding brain function are because the amino acid is a natural super antioxidant. It supplies brain cells with energy by enhancing the function of the mitochondrion, the latter of which generates energy for all brain cells. Also, this amino acid promotes the biosynthesis of acetylcholine–a vital neurotransmitter for nerve and brain function. This process is likely why clinical studies have shown Acetyl-L-Carnitine to benefit mood, memory and cognitive ability. In one study, a group of 30 individuals was able to learn at a faster rate when taking Acetyl-L-Carnitine, while the group given the placebo supplement had no increase in their ability to learn.
3. Fragile X Syndrome and ADHD
A genetic disorder referred to as Fragile X Syndrome leads to behavioral disturbances such as hyperactivity and abnormal body movements. A preliminary study of 20 male teenagers found that Acetyl-L-Carnitine may help to reduce hyperactive behavior associated with this condition by causing neurotransmitters to function in a particular pattern they were meant to follow, rather than the random pattern seen with some of the disorders mentioned above. Studies have shown similar results about those who have attention deficit disorder or ADHD.
4. Peyronie Disease
In addition to the treatment of the disorders mentioned above, Acetyl-L-carnitine has proven helpful when used by men with Peyronie disease. The latter is characterized by an abnormal curvature of the penis, which makes sexual intercourse painful. One study compared the medication tamoxifen with Acetyl-L-carnitine in a double-blind clinical trial, and the results showed that Acetyl-L-carnitine worked better than tamoxifen for men suffering from Peyronie disease. Additionally, those who were given Acetyl-L-carnitine supplements during the trial experienced fewer side effects than those who took tamoxifen. Also, Acetyl-L-carnitine has been used in studies on men with erectile dysfunction, and one study showed that it increased the beneficial effects of Viagra in the majority of participants.
Uses of Acetyl-L-carnitine also include the treatment of anxiety, although additional studies are necessary. Preliminary studies have been promising, however, and show that the supplement may indeed decrease stress in those diagnosed with panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder–GAD.
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also used by certain individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, as it is believed by certain researchers to calm hyperactivity in the bowel by helping general neurotransmitters in the body to function at a reasonable pace, rather than in a random pattern: an abnormal pattern of neurotransmitter activity in the small intestine is thought by some to contribute to irritable bowel syndrome.
Proven Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Benefits
Healthy young people produce all the Carnitine their bodies require, but levels may be depleted with age, genetic defects, liver or kidney disease, and the use of anti-seizure medicines. This contributes to the decline of mitochondrial function, which plays a significant role in the lack of energy associated with aging.
1. Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Deficiency
Deficiencies of this amino acid are also associated with increased body fat, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, physical and mental slowdown, and frailty. Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been proven to help increase energy production and therefore may delay age-related cognitive decline and general lack of energy or fatigue.
2. Mental and Physical Fatigue
Clinical trials of supplemental Acetyl-L-Carnitine show consistently positive results regarding its benefits when used to counteract mental and physical fatigue, and increase cognitive function.
In one Italian study, scientists enrolled centenarians–those who are 100 years of age or older–in a clinical trial, the latter of whom fatigue easily and demonstrated impaired mobility and strength. They were given either a placebo or two grams of Acetyl-L-Carnitine capsules each day.
Following the six-month period of the clinical trial, the placebo group showed no significant changes, but those who were given the Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements lost an average of four pounds of fat and gained an average of eight pounds of muscle mass.
Additionally, their physical and mental endurance improved, and they gained an average of four points on the Mini-Mental State Examination, also called the 0-30 scale for cognitive function–which is a standard exam used in Italy to test memory function.
It is obvious that if those who have reached such a great age could have such remarkable turnarounds, individuals in their 60s and 70s can probably expect even more significant results when using this supplement.
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
Further mental health benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine include slowing of Alzheimer’s progression and improved memory in older individuals. This is due to the increase in mitochondrial energy production, which ultimately causes energy-starved brain cells to return to a higher level of function.
Additionally, it is shown to enhance glutamate and acetylcholine levels in the brain and support the proliferation of neural connections. It has been proven to interact with the serotonergic system as well as increase the brain’s natural anti-oxidant effects.
In a European study, administering a single intravenous dose of Acetyl-L-carnitine appeared to produce short-term improvements in blood flow in the brains of those with poor brain circulation.
4. Nervous System Disorders
Also, because Acetyl-L-Carnitine assists with fat metabolism, individual scientists in the medical field are of the opinion that the amino acid may have a positive effect on the myelin sheaths of a person’s nerves. The myelin sheath coats all nerve cells and the key component in this mechanism is fat. The higher the fat content surrounding the nerve cells, the more efficient the nerve is when it sends impulses across synapses. If the myelin sheath breaks down, as is the case with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, communication within the nervous system deteriorates as well.
5. Psoriasis and Eczema
Finally, when used as a topical ointment, Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL may be helpful in the treatment of certain skin disorders, such as psoriasis or eczema.
Nutrition Facts & Calories of Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL
Because Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL is an amino acid, it contains no calories from any source. It is considered a single ingredient supplement, although supplements of this type may contain ingredients such as the cellulose that is used to make the capsule, or a commonly used vegetable source called magnesium stearate to enhance absorption of the product. However, these ingredients are perfectly safe and are found in most dietary supplements.
Recommended Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Dosage
The standard dose of Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL when used for memory problems, age-related cognitive decline, ADHD or similar brain related issues is 100 to 300 milligrams, taken once or twice a day orally. However, recommended doses vary depending on the particular disorder one wishes to treat.
When used for its benefits regarding skin health, the topical ointment–which typically contains a 3% DMAE solution should be used according to package directions.
Possible Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Side Effects
As with any supplement, Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL side effects are possible. These include slightly elevated blood pressure, low blood sugar, insomnia, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain. However, many people experience no side effects when taking Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL at the proper, recommended dosage.
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