Carnitine Supplements: Good or Bad for You?

carnitineYou may have seen recent media reports about a scientific study suggesting that carnitine could be linked to heart disease. Carnitine – found in red meat, poultry, and fish and also available as a dietary supplement – Continue reading

Second Thoughts about Ginko Biloba

When looking closely at ginkgo biloba and acetyl-L- carnitine for use against Alzheimer’s disease, I’ve found a mixed bag. It’s best to become informed before investing hope in supplements.

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that occurs naturally. In animal studies, it’s been found to increase the energy production in nerve cells, protect the nerve cells from toxins, maintain the number of receptors on nerve cells, and increase Continue reading

Introducing – Aceytl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is an ester of the trimethylated amino acid, L-carnitine, and is synthesized in the brain, liver and kidney by a specific enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase, which declines with age in animals. ALC facilitates the uptake of acetyl-groups into the mitochondria during fatty acid oxidation, enhances acetylcholine production and stimulates protein and membrane phospholipid synthesis. ALC is actively transported across the blood-brain barrier. It influences the cholinergic system as a cholinergic receptor agonist (facilitator) and may also promote synthesis and release of acetylcholine. More generally, ALC participates in cellular energy production and in maintenance and repair processes in neurons.

ALC aids in the transport of substances across the membrane of mitochondria, thereby participating in the production of energy within the brain.  ALC reverses the age-related decline in the number of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors on the neuron membrane. ALC elevates the levels of neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF). The neurotrophins are a family of structurally related proteins that function during development to guide the differentiation and growth of neurons. They also participate in the maintenance of adult neurons and are important in the repair of damage.

ALC reduces deficits in brain energy metabolism and phospholipid metabolism in rats by aiding mitochondrial function. ALC improves nerve regeneration in rats and protects neurons from the toxicity of mitochondrial uncouplers or inhibitors. Feeding senescent rats with ALC restores levels of this metabolite to those found in tissues of young rats. Treatment of these rats with ALC restores cardiolipin in mitochondrial membranes to levels which are found in younger rats. Cardiolipin (diphosphatidylglycerol) is a phospholipid which is biosynthesized and concentrated almost exclusively in the inner mitochondrial membrane. It is the only cardiolipid whose levels are found to be reduced in the mitochondria of older rats. Maximal activity of cytochrome c oxidase, necessary for cellular energetics, appears to depend upon cardiolipin levels. Clinical trials with ALC showed some improvements in cognitive function and improvement in memory, visuospatial capacity, vocabulary recall, cooperation, sociability and attention.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is an ester of the trimethylated amino acid, L-carnitine, and is synthesized in the brain, liver and kidney by a specific enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase, which declines with age in animals. ALC facilitates the uptake of acetyl-groups into the mitochondria during fatty acid oxidation, enhances acetylcholine production and stimulates protein and membrane phospholipid synthesis. ALC is actively transported across the blood-brain barrier. It influences the cholinergic system as a cholinergic receptor agonist (facilitator) and may also promote synthesis and release of acetylcholine. More generally, ALC participates in cellular energy production and in maintenance and repair processes in neurons.

ALC aids in the transport of substances across the membrane of mitochondria, thereby participating in the production of energy within the brain. ALC reverses the age-related decline in the number of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors on the neuron membrane. ALC elevates the levels of neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF). The neurotrophins are a family of structurally related proteins that function during development to guide the differentiation and growth of neurons. They also participate in the maintenance of adult neurons and are important in the repair of damage.ALC reduces deficits in brain energy metabolism and phospholipid metabolism in rats by aiding mitochondrial function. ALC improves nerve regeneration in rats and protects neurons from the toxicity of mitochondrial uncouplers or inhibitors. Feeding senescent rats with ALC restores levels of this metabolite to those found in tissues of young rats. Treatment of these rats with ALC restores cardiolipin in mitochondrial membranes to levels which are found in younger rats. Cardiolipin (diphosphatidylglycerol) is a phospholipid which is biosynthesized and concentrated almost exclusively in the inner mitochondrial membrane. It is the only cardiolipid whose levels are found to be reduced in the mitochondria of older rats. Maximal activity of cytochrome c oxidase, necessary for cellular energetics, appears to depend upon cardiolipin levels. Clinical trials with ALC showed some improvements in cognitive function and improvement in memory, visuospatial capacity, vocabulary recall, cooperation, sociability and attention.