Acetyl L-Carnitine is an A plus supplement in the world of nootropics. Its potential benefits cover a wide spectrum, it is a rigorously studied compound. Unlike many potentially useful nootropics, there is an extensive literature about acetyl- L-carnitine. For the purposes of this article, I will draw attention towards its effects on cognition in healthy subjects as well as those afflicted with various disorders.
Studies have been conducted with both short and long-term durations, the briefest study consisted of acetyl l-carnitine supplementation for a mere three days. Remarkably, although one may consider such a swift study to furnish no tangible results, it did.
Four hundred healthy young females participated in this placebo-controlled, double-blind study. It was found that the group who received the acetyl l-carnitine combined with glucose drink displayed an increase in reaction times on cognitive tests (Benton, 2004). Reaction time is connected to processing speed, a critical part of intellectual aptitude.
Yet improvements in reaction time is not the only cognitive enhancement that has been displayed in human subjects. A placebo-controlled double-blind study lasting several months was conducted on a group of abstinent alcoholics with alcohol-related cognitive deficits.
The profound findings revealed that the group taking the acetyl l-carnitine showed significant improvement over the placebo group in every area tested. The tests administered explored areas of memory, deductive-logical functions, language, and more. These tests consisted of some of the most tried and true psychological tests for determining cognitive aptitude, including the Wechsler memory scale (for logical memory) (Tempesta, 1990).
The fact acetyl l-carnitine is strongly linked to phenomenal nootropic effects makes it an excellent candidate for any nootropic stack, even a possible stand-alone supplement given its stellar resume. However the benefits to the brain do not stop at increased intellectual capacity, they extend to general feelings of well-being and quality of life. A study conducted on a group of patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy concluded that patients experienced a boost in energy levels, general functioning, with a simultaneous reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression (Malaguarnera, 2011).
The profile for acetyl l-carnitine is outstanding, I have focused on a handful of its cognitive benefits but if one combs the research literature, one quickly finds that its benefits are of a far wider scope. Not only in areas related to the brain such as its role as a possible treatment for autism spectrum disorders, (Geier, 2011) or its potential as an alternative to stimulant medications used to treat ADHD, (Torrioli, 2008) but uses that cover a gamut of health concerns and physiological desires for a better quality of life.
As with any nootropic supplement, it is not only important to select those with robust studies to back up their efficacy but a company that will ensure high-quality products of the highest standards, and for that reason, I recommend Double Wood Supplements.
References and Works Cited
Benton D, Donohoe RT. The influence on cognition of the interactions between lecithin, carnitine and carbohydrate. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 Aug;175(1):84-91. doi: 10.1007/s00213-004-1773-2. Epub 2004 Feb 4. PMID: 14760514.
Tempesta E, Troncon R, Janiri L, Colusso L, Riscica P, Saraceni G, Gesmundo E, Calvani M, Benedetti N, Pola P. Role of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of cognitive deficit in chronic alcoholism. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990;10(1-2):101-7. PMID: 2201652.
Malaguarnera M, Bella R, Vacante M, Giordano M, Malaguarnera G, Gargante MP, Motta M, Mistretta A, Rampello L, Pennisi G. Acetyl-L-carnitine reduces depression and improves quality of life in patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jun;46(6):750-9. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2011.565067. Epub 2011 Mar 28. PMID: 21443422.
Geier DA, Kern JK, Davis G, King PG, Adams JB, Young JL, Geier MR. A prospective double-blind, randomized clinical trial of levocarnitine to treat autism spectrum disorders. Med Sci Monit. 2011 Jun;17(6):PI15-23. doi: 10.12659/msm.881792. PMID: 21629200; PMCID: PMC3539542.
Torrioli MG, Vernacotola S, Peruzzi L, Tabolacci E, Mila M, Militerni R, Musumeci S, Ramos FJ, Frontera M, Sorge G, Marzullo E, Romeo G, Vallee L, Veneselli E, Cocchi E, Garbarino E, Moscato U, Chiurazzi P, D’Iddio S, Calvani M, Neri G. A double-blind, parallel, multicenter comparison of L-acetylcarnitine with placebo on the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in fragile X syndrome boys. Am J Med Genet A. 2008 Apr 1;146A(7):803-12. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32268. PMID: 18286595.