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#9 Acetyl-L-Carnitine (HCI)

Graphic image of the L-carnitine molecule.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a supplement used in nerve health. 
Image Source: Tamrino.ir

What is Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a nutrient and dietary supplement that is made from L-carnitine in the body. L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine are used to help the body turn fat into energy. Acetyl-L-carnitine is important for many body processes, including brain function, muscle movement, and heart function.

How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine benefit peripheral neuropathy?

One of the potential benefits of acetyl-L-carnitine is its ability to reduce nerve pain in people with peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, causing pain, weakness, and numbness in the hands and feet. According to a Mayo Clinic article, acetyl-L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps to reduce oxidative stress and is believed to be involved in nerve cell function and regeneration. It has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for neuropathy, including pain reduction, promoting peripheral nerve regeneration, and a neuroprotective effect. In clinical trials, people who had diabetic neuropathy had reduced pain, improvements in other sensory problems, and improvements in nerve function tests.

Is there credible evidence?

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that acetyl-L-carnitine significantly reduced visual analogue scale (VAS) scores of peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) patients compared with placebo. The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on VAS was similar in different administration routes (intramuscular-oral sequential subgroup and oral only subgroup), and acetyl-L-carnitine appeared more effective in diabetic PNP patients than non-diabetic PNP patients. No severe adverse events were reported related to acetyl-L-carnitine.

Overall, the current evidence suggests that acetyl-L-carnitine has a moderate effect in reducing pain measured on VAS in PNP patients with acceptable safety. A typical dosage of acetyl-L-carnitine for people with neuropathy is 500 milligrams twice per day. However, it is always important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Summary

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a nutrient and dietary supplement that has many potential benefits for both mental and physical health. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation on peripheral neuropathy, current evidence suggests that it may have potential as a treatment for reducing nerve pain.

References

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. Mayo Clinic.
  2. Healthline Editorial Team. (2019). Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions. Healthline.
  3. Li S., Li Q., Li Y., Li L., Tian H., & Sun X. (2015). Acetyl-L-Carnitine in the Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. PLoS One.


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