In the body, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, or ALC, is made from L-carnitine that the body produces naturally. It is mainly produced in the liver, brain, and kidneys. L-carnitine is a type of amino acid and, like Acetyl-L-Carnitine, helps the body produce energy.
However, the Acetyl-L-Carnitine compound is the form of L-carnitine most able to easily move through the blood-brain barrier to carry fats and carbohydrates into the cells. Once these nutrients are transported into cellular mitochondria, they are converted into energy. As you can see, L-carnitines are important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Cognitive Function
Maintaining cognitive function as you age is essential for overall wellness. You want to be able to improve your memory, stay alert longer, not fall victim to mental fatigue, and avoid mood swings. Acetyl-L-Carnitine may improve your overall cognitive function over time.
The fact that this compound can so easily move through the blood-brain barrier means that there will be an improved flow of blood to your brain. Since blood carries nutrients, you’ll likely receive more nutrients that are essential for cognitive function. This increased flow can thus help ensure that your cognitive function stays strong as you get older.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Mental Health
Another aspect of brain function that Acetyl-L-Carnitine can help maintain is your mental health. If you are navigating depression, some of the most common symptoms you may deal with include physical pain, memory loss, significant mood swings, and a change in your appetite. These things can all seriously affect your physical health.
A 2021 study showed that individuals who had been diagnosed with a major or moderate depressive disorder often have decreased levels of Acetyl-L-Carnitine in their bodies. Incorporating Acetyl-L-Carnitine into your regular routine, either through foods like fish and cheese or in supplement form, can increase your levels and minimize some mental health symptoms.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Physical Fitness
Your level of physical fitness can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. When your physical performance declines, you may struggle with everyday activities like walking, doing chores in your home, or loading groceries into your car. One thing that could cause this decline is a decrease in blood flow through your body, a process called intermittent claudication. If your blood flow decreases over time, your ability to move well will also decrease.
As you age, your level of physical fitness may decrease naturally, so it is important to incorporate things into your wellness routine that can combat additional contributors to poor fitness. Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement may improve your physical function by increasing your energy levels so you are able to participate in physical activity. As mentioned, supplementation may also increase the levels of blood nitrate in your body and improve blood flow.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Diabetes, and Pain
Decreased physical function could also be a side effect of pain, particularly if you are dealing with different types of pain on a daily basis. Chronic pain from conditions like diabetes can severely lessen your physical mobility and make it difficult to enjoy your life.
If you have diabetes, you may begin to experience a condition called diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage caused by high levels of blood sugar. ALC can help to regulate your blood sugar levels by increasing your insulin sensitivity, thus reducing your risk of diabetes-related pain.
While pain can severely impact your life, it is not the only symptom of diabetes Acetyl-L-Carnitine can help with. The pancreas is the organ that produces and regulates the insulin in the body. If this system is not working properly, you may see adverse effects such as dizziness, weight gain that you cannot explain, blurry vision, or constant hunger or thirst.
People with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, have lower levels of insulin and may need to supplement it. ALC has been shown to improve the functions of beta cells in your pancreas, which create insulin, potentially eliminating symptoms of diabetes.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Energy
As mentioned, one of the primary uses of ALC is to metabolize glucose in your body, which can increase your energy levels. As this compound is introduced into your system on a consistent basis, it can also burn more fats and carbohydrates.
There is some evidence that taking ALC as a supplement could also be used as a tool for weight loss in addition to other benefits. People taking Acetyl-L-Carnitine often report a loss of fat in the body or an increase in muscle mass. This is likely due to the fact that it increases your energy levels, so you are able to sustain exercise on a more consistent basis.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Fatigue
In addition to the potential for Acetyl-L-Carnitine to be used as a weight loss tool, it may also be useful for individuals with multiple sclerosis as a way to combat fatigue. Multiple sclerosis, also called MS, is a chronic disease that primarily impacts the brain and spinal cord. This disease causes your immune system to attack protective barriers around the nerves in your brain and can lead to speech impairments, dizziness, numbness in your limbs, blurry vision, and fatigue.
Recently, according to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 80% of individuals with MS reported that they deal with fatigue on a regular basis. Some report this is because they are awake frequently through the night, they are dealing with the symptoms of depression, they are in pain, or it is challenging to complete simple daily tasks. Acetyl-L-Carnitine can be used to fight fatigue in individuals with MS, with some research subjects reporting significant reductions in fatigue and an overall improvement in their quality of life.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a vital supplement for many people. However, many others want to learn more about its benefits.
We’ve rounded up some of the most common questions regarding this useful supplement.
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