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Jan 23rd 2024

Acetyl-L-Carnitine for Keeping Your Brain Young and Vital

. . . after the age of 40, we all should supplement There is no nutrient that protects the brain and keeps it young better than acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC). ALC is a special form of carnitine that easily enters the brain. There it energizes the brain cells (neurons) and protects and supports brain function in many different ways. Robert Crayhon, MS, and author of The Carnitine Miracle, states that the most protective compound we can give our brains is energy. Energy is life-giving. When our neurons are fully energized, we experience mental clarity, agility and focus; verbal fluency; and enhanced attention, learning ability and memory. People report feeling mentally sharper within hours of taking ALC, and studies confirm that mental performance also improves. But ALC does much more. It protects and helps neurons recover from damage and stress of all kinds, including the aging process. Crayhon suggests starting to supplement with ALC in our twenties and thirties at those times that we’re under stress, and then beginning daily supplementation in our forties, when our bodies begin producing less and we need it more. ALC is also an antioxidant that protects the fatty tissue in our brains (remember, we are all “fatheads” – the brain is composed mainly of fats) and it removes damaged fats. It supports neurotransmitter function and hence neuron-to-neuron communication and a happier disposition and mood. ALC even improves the quality of sleep and reduces the quantity of sleep needed. Since it’s naturally produced in the body and found in food (mostly in animal products, especially red meat!), it has few and mild side effects, usually gastrointestinal. These and another side effect, vivid dreams, can be easily remedied by reducing dose. It’s also best to take it before 4 PM or it may interfere with falling asleep. It should not be used by those with bipolar or seizure disorder. Because it interferes with thyroid hormone function, high-dose carnitine is used to treat hyperthyroidism, so, although it can be advantageously used even if you are hypothyroid, anyone with a thyroid condition should use it in consultation with their healthcare practitioner. You should also check with your practitioner about taking ALC if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or liver or kidney disease. Although some studies suggest that taking ALC during pregnancy and breastfeeding is beneficial, not enough is known about possible risks. To keep a healthy brain as you age, take 500 mg to 2,000 mg a day one hour before or two hours after a meal. If taking more than 500 mg, take it in divided doses. Those with neurological problems may want to increase the dose to 3,000 mg a day. Adding 100-300 mg of CoQ10, 100-300 mg of phosphatidyl serine, and 250-500 mg of alpha lipoic acid would be very synergistic. It’s extremely important that an ALC product be very pure and that its molecules be in the correct biological form. There should be no solvent residues or D-carnitine present. Our Acetyl-L-Carnitine meets these criteria; few others do.
Crayhon R. The Carnitine Miracle. New York, NY:  M. Evans and Company, Inc., 1998.
Montgomery SA. Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. International Clinical Psychopharmacology. March 2003; 8(2):61-71.
For more information, see Francis, R.  Protecting your brain with acetyl-L-carnitine.  Beyond Health News.  July-August 2006, p. 5.

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Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.