Health Benefits And Uses Of Acetyl L-Carnitine

Support for Mental and Physical Energy

Acetyl L-Carnitine Background and Benefits

Acetyl L-carnitine is an amino acid that is an acetylated derivative of L-carnitine. It is primarily produced by animals as an essential component in cellular metabolism, especially muscle movement, heart and brain function. Acetyl L-carnitine is only found in animal products, especially red meat. Mutton is the one of the most abundant dietary sources of acetyl L-carnitine.

An acetyl group is transferred from acetyl co-enzyme A (CoA) to L-carnitine within cell mitochondria during strenuous exercise, primarily in the liver and kidneys. This process results in the conversion of acetyl-CoA to CoA and L-carnitine to acetyl L-carnitine. The enzyme carnitine O-acetyltransferase is also needed to catalyze this reaction.

The acetyl L-carnitine is then transported outside the mitochondria, where it provides chemical energy when it breaks back down into L-carnitine and an acetyl group. The L-carnitine is then transported back to the mitochondria to repeat the cycle. Excess acetyl-CoA can inhibit this process.

In addition to its use in storing and transporting chemical energy, acetyl-L-carnitine has significant antioxidant activity. This effect is the result of acetyl-L-carnitine’s role in glutathione, which scavenges free radicals.

Acetyl L-carnitine is also a common dietary supplement. The primary advantage of using acetyl L-carnitine instead of L-carnitine is that acetyl L-carnitine has great bioavailability.

Uses of Acetyl L-Carnitine

The support of healthy energy levels is one of the most common reasons for taking acetyl L-carnitine. Additional uses of these supplements include support of cognitive function, connective tissue and the nervous system.

Cognitive functioning

Acetyl-L-carnitine may be able to support normal memory functioning, especially in older people. It may also help to manage low moods.

Physical energy

Acetyl-L-carnitine’s role in cellular metabolism may allow these supplements to increase physical energy. This use is most common among endurance athletes.

Nervous system support

Daily supplementation with acetyl L-carnitine may help support the central nervous system. It may also support heart function.

Connective tissue support

Acetyl-L-carnitine may be able to manage the discomfort of chronic conditions affecting connective tissue.

Signs You May Need Acetyl L-Carnitine

Athletes are one of the groups most likely to need acetyl-L-carnitine supplements, especially if they are distance runners or bodybuilders. The most common signs that acetyl L-carnitine may benefit you include discomfort in the chest and muscles. Low blood pressure and fatigue may also indicate that you need acetyl-L-carnitine. Mental conditions that may benefit from acetyl-L-carnitine include low moods and poor memory. A urine test can also indicate an acetyl-L-carnitine deficiency.

Synonyms and Similar Forms of Acetyl L-Carnitine

L-carnitine, Acetyl carnitine


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