Incredible beneficial effects of acetyl l-carnitine in the brain

11/03/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only. We do not encourage intake of acetyl l-carnitine or any nootropic agents. Any undesirable effects from intake of this nootropic substance are sole responsibility of the user.

Acetyl l-carnitine is an essential nutrient with increased bioavailability that helps in promoting brain health, metabolism (fat metabolism), stress tolerance and overall health. Unlike l-carnitine, acetyl l-carnitine is considered as fat soluble. More importantly, it is highly active within the nerves, hence, it is able to protect the body from damage due to stress and toxicity.

It is one of the few nutrients that are able to produce synergistic and robust effect on your neurons. It helps in energy production and cellular health. It is has also neuroprotective properties which protects your nerve cells as well as help in cell regeneration.

Acetyl l-carnitine and l-carnitine: A brief comparison

L-carnitine is commonly known for its ability to help improve physical performance amongst athletes and individuals who has physically exhausting occupation. Acetyl l-carnitine on the other hand is known for its ability to improve cognitive performance due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) easily. These supplements have similar chemical structures; the only difference is the presence of acetyl group in acetyl l-carnitine’s structure. Despite their similar structure, these supplements work differently. Acetyl l-carnitine is involved with improvement in memory, perception, analysis, critical thinking, computation, learning and other cognitive functioning.

How does acetyl l-carnitine works in the brain?

Acetyl l-carnitine’s mechanism of action remains to be unclear. Early and recent studies however indicate that its beneficial effects may be associated with its ability to regulate mitochondrial metabolism. This essential nutrient plays an important role in cellular energy dissemination and production. As an important cofactor of long chain fatty acid transmission, it is able to facilitate the metabolic pathways through the mitochondria. As such, it is now able to move across the BBB reaching the certain brain areas where acetylic groups are usually delivered. It modifies these acetylic groups to activate coenzyme A, decrease peroxidation, improve neurotransmitter synthesis and sustain intramitochondrial salvage trails. More importantly, it is able to maintain the fluidity of the cell membrane, enhance cellular energy production and inhibit death of brain cells.

Another mechanism associated with acetyl l-carnitine is its ability to increase acetylcholine levels in the brain. These cholinergic effects are facilitated through blocking post-synaptic inhibition leading to increased levels of acetylcholine. Increased levels of acetylcholine are associated with better synaptic plasticity and enhanced memory processes. Several studies suggest that it is able to stimulate nerve synaptic activities and promote nerve growth factor production.

Acetyl l-carnitine and the aging brain

Acetyl  l-carnitine most popular beneficial effects includes its ability to help improve the aging brain. Cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia are problems that are related to the normal wear and tear the brain experiences as we age. Aging results to the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain causing symptoms of AD and other symptoms of age-related cognitive decline. Acetyl l-carnitine is able to address these problems in several ways. First, acetyl l-carnitine is able to promote better nerve cell health leading to lesser formation of damaging beta-amyloid plaques. It also helps through preserving the levels of BDNF helping production and repair of neurons. BDNF may also help in reversing and preventing the damaging effects of AD in the brain.

In addition, acetyl l-carnitine helps in metabolizing cholesterol and fats in the brain to prevent these lipids in accumulating and clogging brain functioning. Its ability to metabolize these excess lipids is the primary reason why cholesterol is less likely to turn into beta amyloid plaques. Acetyl l-carnitine has been associated with the removal of damaged fatty particles from excess alcohol intake. Eliminating these fatty particles helps prevent free radical production and damage from too much alcohol consumption.

Acetyl l-carnitine helps eliminate toxins in the brain. Eradicating these toxins helps normal neuronal energy production take place. Sustaining energy brain production helps in regulating mood and slows down the rate of the brain’s normal wear and tear. Some studies revealed that it can even help in decrease nerve destruction amongst animal models.

Several studies also revealed that acetyl -carnitine may be effective in increasing overall nerve transmission. This shows that acetyl l-carnitine may be effective in treating patients suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It may help in decreasing nerve pain, promote nerve regeneration and improve nerve conduction amongst diabetics.

Acetyl l-carnitine may also be effective in decreasing oxidative damage and inflammation of the brain. Supplementing with acetyl l-carnitine helps in decreasing damage from free radicals and help reverse the problem. Aside from decreasing free radical damage, acetyl l-carnitine may also be effective in eliminating lipofuscin accumulation in the brain.