What is Acetyl L-Carnitine

What is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl L-Carnitine is a type of Amino acid or protein building block which the body utilizes to convert fat into energy. Acetyl L-Carnitine doesn’t fall in the category of essential nutrients since the body synthesizes the amount of Acetyl L-Carnitine that it needs. Nevertheless, supplemental intake of Carnitine has been shown to improve the ability of certain body tissues to produce energy. As a result, this amino acid has been used in treating muscle conditions and heart diseases in general. This article will seek to thoroughly answer the question of “What is Acetyl L-Carnitine?”

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The benefits of Acetyl L-Carnitine


There are many benefits that have been associated with the consumption of Acetyl L-Carnitine. For instance, it has been proven that elderly people will restore their memory problems with the help of this amino acid.


Other proven benefits that have been realized out of Acetyl L-Carnitine consumption are as follows:


(a) Easing the pain of neuropathy and diabetes


Diabetes can cause nerve pain which interferes with the quality of one’s life. If a patient is put into therapy that involves this amino acid, they will significantly experience a reduction in nerve pain (especially if they have not had diabetes for a long time, or if they’ve poorly managed diabetes type 2.


(b) Treats Peyronie’s disease


This is a connective tissue disease which affects men. For a long time, doctors have been treating this condition using a drug called Tamoxifen. However, studies now show that Acetyl L-Carnitine is more effective in reducing pain and slowing down the condition so that it doesn’t worsen.


(c) It treats male infertility


When there’s inflammation in certain male organs such as seminal vesicles, prostate and epididymis, this amino acid is used to treat infertility caused by this inflammation.


When it’s taken orally in combination with L-carnitine for 6 months, it tends to improve spam count and mobility, and this can be very helpful in men having trouble when it comes to siring children.


(d) It treats male menopuase


When the male body ages, it losses its ability to produce enough testosterone. Testosterone deficiency is sometimes referred to as male menopause.


Doctors now say that taking this amino acid orally in combination with a drug called propionyl-L-carnitine can help men struggling with hormone deficiency issues.


When taken for 6 months, it seems to replace the role of male testosterone supplements. It fights fatigue and depression while improving sexual dysfunction.


(e) It improves circulation of blood in the brain


Administering acetyl-L-carnitine through IV seems to dramatically improve blood flow in the brain of people who suffer from poor blood circulation.


(f) A cure for Alzheimer’s disease


Acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to help those who are suffering from the effects of the early on-set of Alzheimer’s disease. However, for it to be effective, the patient must be aged below 66 years, and the disease must be progressing faster with signs of fast mental decline.


The dosage for taking this amino acid, What is Acetyl L-Carnitine and it’s Dose?


Scientific research has approved the following dosage:


By Mouth


1500-4000 mg per day, spread into 2 or 3 doses during the day will be sufficient;


-For those who are struggling with age-related memory loss, 1500-2000 mg per day is preferred;


-For cases of depression, 1500-3000 mg should be taken in divided doses;


Male fertility issues: dosing must be taken orally


– 4000 mg daily dose is recommended

– 1g of acetyl-L-carnitine can also be used in addition to 2g of L-carnitine on a daily basis


Dosing for male infertility issues secondary to abacterial

500mg of acetyl-L-carnitine in combination with 1g carnitine can be used for 2 months (administered with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)


For people with Peyronie’s disease

1gram taken twice on a daily basis for 3 months will trigger remarkable improvements.


Testosterone issues

Lastly, for those suffering from age-related testosterone deficiency, 2grams of acetyl-L-carnitine can be used in combination with 2 grams of propionyl-L-carnitine to realize the best results. This should be taken on a daily basis.


Side effects


This amino acid is generally safe for most adults. However, slight discomfort may be encountered. These may include nausea, stomach

upset, vomiting, or even restlessness. In addition to this, acetyl-L-carnitine can cause a ”fishy” odor coming from one’s breath, sweat and even urine.


Yet again, not enough has been discovered concerning the use of acetyl-L-carnitine for pregnant women or nursing mothers. And as such, it may be wise to stay away from it.


There are also certain concerns that the use of this amino acid may interfere with thyroid hormone. Therefore, if an individual is suffering from under-active thyroid, they should take this precaution.


Also, an increased number of seizures (among people with medical history of seizures) have been reported when patients take L-carnitine, either orally or through IV means. Therefore, if you have seizures, it’s advisable that you must stay away from the use of acetyl-L-carnitine.




There are mixed opinions among people who have taken acetyl-L-carnitine for one reason or the other. According to Webmd user reviews, this amino acid has significantly improved the brain function of one user who took it as a therapy after suffering stroke. This user reported that he was able to recover his speech without putting pauses while talking.


Another user reported that he used acetyl-L-carnitine in order to enhance his cognition. But in the process, he also realized that his energy levels had significantly improved. When exercising, he could get exhausted quickly. With a capsule every day for one week, he realized that he could carry on with his workouts without feeling the desire to stop. This was an odd experience hard to explain in words.


Other users have also seen a number of remarkable changes where their health is concerned. So definitely the benefits we just mentioned above are very real.


Short and long term use



The length of time that this amino acid will be used depends on the condition of an individual. Some people will require small dosage for short period of time while others will require lengthy use.


Those seeking to boost their attention and remain alert can take it occasionally and for a long term period. Doses above 500mg may trigger side effects when the amino acid is used in the long term.


But generally, one should be safe when they stay within the dose limit regardless of whether they are using it in the short or long term period.


Is it legal?


Yes, acetyl-L-carnitine is legal, which is why doctors use it to reverse certain conditions as described above. There haven’t been cases where the government banned it.




Dr. Giovanni Neri from the Universita of Cattolica in Rome studied the relationship between acetyl-L-carnitine and attention deficit in school-going children. Treated patients showed an improvement in social behavior and hyperactivity. This was in addition to treating attention deficit where results turned positive.


Other similar studies have proved that acetyl-L-carnitine is effective in treating or controlling the conditions above.




Patients should be safe with this amino acid when they stay within the recommended dose. Side effects of this supplement are real, and may trigger adverse consequences. So your doctor should only administer it according to your health situation.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2215852
  2. http://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department/Administrative-Services/Property-Evidence-and-Facilities/Vehicle-Impound.aspx
  3. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/L-carnitine

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