Benefits Of Acetyl L-Carnitine

Research on the benefits of oral supplements of acetyl l-carnitine and l-carnitine is quite limited but overall looks promising.

Studies supporting these benefits tend to be small scale, & in many cases, claims of the benefit should be investigated with larger clinical studies.

Carnitine Supplements Can Help Boost Carnitine Levels

The body normally produces all the carnitine it requires. However, there are times where levels of carnitine are insufficient.

For example, carnitine levels may become depleted following illness. In these circumstances supplements can help boost them.

Acetyl L-Carnitine – An Antioxidant In The Brain

Acetyl l-carnitine is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier much easier than l-carnitine where it acts as an antioxidant in the brain. An antioxidant, acetyl l-carnitine can prevent brain cells becoming damaged by neutralizing free radicals.

Acetyl L-Carnitine & Peripheral Nerve Injury

Acetyl l-carnitine can be taken to help treat peripheral nerve injury [1]; a condition in which nerves extending from and to the spinal cord or brain become damaged.

Carnitine & Interactions With Other Drug Treatments

A further benefit of carnitine supplements is that they may help to reduce the side effects of various drug treatments. These include:

  • Valproic acid – Valproic acid is used as an anticonvulsant. Valproic acid may cause low carnitine levels which l-carnitine supplements can help restore.
  • Isotretinoin – also known as Accutane, Isotretinoin is a medication for acne. Carnitine deficiency is a possible side effect of Isotretinoin. L-carnitine may help restore carnitine levels.
  • Doxorubicin – this is a medication for chemotherapy administered to patients with cancer. L-carnitine may protect the heart cells from Doxorubicin toxic side effects.
  • AZT – this is a drug treatment for AIDS & HIV. L-carnitine may protect muscle tissue from AZT side effects which can be toxic.

Carnitine May Enhance Male Fertility

Sperm motility can be increased with acetyl l-carnitine supplementation; the activity of sperm increases [2]. Sperm motility refers to the number of sperm in a given sample which can move forward. Sperm motility is usually expressed as a percentage. Higher sperm motility means there's a greater chance of sperm moving towards an egg.

Carnitine & Weight Loss

Although some carnitine based supplements are marketed for weight loss, there is no clear evidence to support this [9].

However, carnitine supplements may cause effects which lead to weight loss [13].

These include:

  • reduced fatigue
  • increased muscle tissue
  • reduced fat

Carnitine For General Wellness

Acetyl l-carnitine and l-carnitine supplements are often bought to enhance general wellness, due to their properties as a powerful antioxidant which reduces oxidative stress in the body.

Further benefits of carnitine include the ability to treat a range of conditions