There is currently no information available on whether acetyl-L-carnitine and breastfeeding is a safe combination. Although this compound is found naturally in the human body, it is not known if acetyl-L-carnitine supplements are safe to take while nursing a child. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risks with acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation.
An Overview of Breastfeeding and Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an important compound essential for proper functioning of human cells. It can be obtained through the diet, although the body usually makes plenty on its own.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is also available as a dietary supplement used for a variety of different purposes. It is unknown if such supplementation is safe for use while breastfeeding. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider or your child's healthcare provider before taking acetyl-L-carnitine while breastfeeding.
Is Acetyl-L-Carnitine Safe While Breastfeeding?
There is no strong evidence to suggest that acetyl-L-carnitine is either safe or unsafe for breastfeeding women.
Breastfeeding often limits the prescription and nonprescription drugs that a woman can take. As a result, women often seek safe alternatives, sometimes assuming that dietary supplements are always safe. This is simply not the case; dietary supplements can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are safe or even effective for anyone, including breastfeeding women. It should never be assumed that dietary supplements are automatically safe while breastfeeding.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about acetyl-L-carnitine and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed April 27, 2009.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine (6/15/2006). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/carnitine.asp. Accessed April 27, 2009.
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