Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the body. It helps the body produce energy.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine is used for a variety of mental disorders including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Age-related memory loss
- Late-life depression
- Thinking problems related to alcoholism
- Thinking problems related to Lyme disease.
It is also used for:
- Down syndrome
- Poor circulation in the brain
- Nerve pain due to diabetes
- Nerve pain due to drugs used in the treatment of AIDS
- Facial paralysis.
Some men use acetyl-L-carnitine for:
- Symptoms of “male menopause” (low testosterone levels due to aging)
- Adisease of the penis called Peyronie’s disease.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.
- 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 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 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin.
- Treating symptoms of age-related testosterone deficiency (“male menopause”). 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.
- Improving blood flow to the brain. Administering a single dose of acetyl-L-carnitine intravenously (by 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 Alzheimer’s disease who are less than 66 years of age and have a faster rate of disease progression and mental decline.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for most adults. It can cause some side effects including stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and restlessness. It can cause a “fishy” odor of the urine, breath, and sweat.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of acetyl-L-carnitine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism): There is some concern that acetyl-L-carnitine might interfere with thyroid hormone. Don’t use acetyl-L-carnitine if you have an under-active thyroid.
- Seizures: 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.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination:
- Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) interacts with ACETYL-L-CARNITINE: Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) is used to slow blood clotting. Acetyl-L-carnitine might increase the effectiveness of acenocoumarol (Sintrom). Increasing the effectiveness of acenocoumarol (Sintrom) might slow blood clotting too much. The dose of your acenocoumarol (Sintrom) might need to be changed.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with ACETYL-L-CARNITINE: Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Acetyl-L-carnitine might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Acetil-L-Carnitina, Acetyl Carnitine, Acétyl Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Acétyl-L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate Dihydrochloride, Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate HCl, Acétyl-L-Carnitine Arginate HCl, Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl, Acétyl-L-Carnitine HCl, Acetyl L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, Acetyl Carnitine, Acétyl-Carnitine, Acetyl-Levocarnitine, Acétyl-Lévocarnitine, ALC, Alcar, Carnitine Acetyl Ester, Dihydrochlorure d’Acétyl-L-Carnitine Arginate, Gamma-Trimethyl-Beta-Acetylbutyrobetaine, L-Acetylcarnitine, L-Acétylcarnitine, Levacecarnine, N-Acetyl-Carnitine, N-Acétyl-Carnitine, N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine, N-Acétyl-L-Carnitine, ST-200, Vitamin B(t) Acetate, 2-(acetyloxy)-3-carboxy-N,N,N-trimethyl-1-propanaminium inner salt, (3-carboxy-2-hydroxy-propyl)trimethylammonium hydroxide inner salt acetate.
Source: WebMD, “Acetyl-L-carnitine”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/