Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Work?
Acetyl-L-carnitine supplements are supposedly useful for a number of conditions, but does acetyl-L-carnitine work? Studies have shown that the supplements may be effective in treating several conditions, such as improving cognitive functioning and memory in people with age-related memory problems, alcoholism, or Alzheimer's disease. However, more research is needed to confirm whether acetyl-L-carnitine really works for these and other uses.
Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Really Work?As with most dietary supplements, acetyl-L-carnitine is claimed to work for a variety of different uses. But does it really work? This article will address the effectiveness of acetyl-L-carnitine for various uses, including treatment of the following conditions:
- Age-related memory problems
- Alzheimer's disease
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Cognitive (thinking) problems associated with alcoholism or Lyme disease
- Decreased testosterone due to aging in men ("male menopause")
- Depression in the elderly
- Down syndrome
- Facial paralysis
- Male infertility
- Nerve pain due to diabetes or certain HIV medications
- Peyronie's disease
- Poor circulation in the brain after a stroke.
Scientific Evidence Supporting Acetyl-L-Carnitine UsePreliminary evidence suggests that acetyl-L-carnitine may actually be beneficial for improving cognitive function and memory in people with age-related memory problems, alcoholism, or Alzheimer's disease. Research also suggests that the supplement may help improve symptoms of age-related testosterone decreases in men. Improvements were seen in sexual dysfunction, depression, and fatigue in men with "male menopause."
Acetyl-L-carnitine appears to improve the symptoms of nerve pain due to diabetes. When combined with L-carnitine (a similar product), acetyl-L-carnitine improved sperm count and sperm motility in men with infertility. The supplement may also help relieve pain and delay the worsening of Peyronie's disease. A single dose of IV acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to improve blood flow in the brain in people with chronic poor circulation to the brain, although it is unknown if oral supplementation or long-term supplementation will produce similar results.
At this time, there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that acetyl-L-carnitine really works or does not work for other uses.