Research has shown acetyl-L-carnitine can address memory, brain function, and general fatigue and weakness
Although the number of Baby Boomers was finally been surpassed by Millennials last year, Boomers still represent a large percentage of Americans. According to the Pew Research Center, the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau put the number of Boomers (between the ages of 55-73) at 71.6 million. Furthermore, Generation X (between the ages of 39-54) are hot on their heels, numbering slightly more than 65 million.1 Combined, these two age cohorts wield formidable purchasing power, specifically in the anti-aging market and for emerging products like acetyl-L-carnitine.
If you have Boomer or Generation X patients, you know that not only are they interested in hearing about the latest natural anti-aging products, but they have already done their own research and have a list of questions for you.
Acetyl-L-carnitine for immunity, muscle, mood, memory
An acetyl-L-carnitine supplement can boost many anti-aging functions of the body, including improving the immune system and muscle tissue, as well as mood and memory. To better understand how this supplement works, we will first need to discuss how some of the natural anti-aging components in the body work.
Carnitine is a generic term for a number of compounds (including acetyl-L-carnitine) that help produce energy to fuel the body.2 The liver and kidneys produce carnitine to metabolize lysine, which is an amino acid found in proteins. Although the body can generate L-carnitine by itself, it depends upon outside sources to meet its requirements.
The most primary source is meat, but this can present a problem for people who keep to a vegetarian/vegan diet, for either ethical or health reasons.2
Acetyl-L-carnitine addresses a number of issues related to the aging process, most notably memory, brain function, and general fatigue and weakness. A 2012 article in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science used a rat model to examine the effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on behavioral changes and deterioration in the forebrain.3 Rats given acetyl-L-carnitine were tested against a control group on spatial learning and impairment tests. Brain deterioration was then determined by looking at sections of the brain after rats from both groups were euthanized. The researchers found that the rats treated with acetyl-L-carnitine performed better on tests of spatial learning and memory, and showed less degeneration than the control group of rats.
The researchers note that their results may be promising for treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older patients.3
A 2018 article in the journal Molecular and Clinical Oncology examined the effect of acetyl-L-carnitine as a treatment for fatigue among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.4 In this study, patients were given 1,500 mg per day of oral acetyl-L-cartinine for eight weeks. At the end of the study period, all patients reported a reduction of general fatigue. Furthermore, plasma levels of albumin and lymphocyte counts remained steady during chemotherapy, so no acetyl-L-cartinine dose adjustment was needed.
The researchers noted: “LC supplementation improved general fatigue in all the examined cancer patients during chemotherapy. This treatment may make improve the tolerability of chemotherapy in cancer patients by reducing general fatigue and improving the nutritional status.”4
Today’s Boomers and Generation Xers are smart, savvy, and engaged about their wellness options, and acetyl-L-carnitine is an emerging supplement that can help them stay active and healthy for as long as possible.
- Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Pew Research Center. Posted April 28, 2020. Accessed Aug. 31,2020.
- Carnitine Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Updated April 2017. Accessed Sept. 1, 2020.
- Freddi R, Duca P, Mariotti M, Gritti I. Behaviour and degenerative changes in the basal forebrain systems of aged rats (12 months old) after Levo-Acetyl-Carnitine treatments. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science. 2012;2(1):18-25.
- Matsui H, Einama T, Shichi S, et al. L-Carnitine supplementation reduces the general fatigue of cancer patients during chemotherapy. Molecular and Clinical Oncology. 2018;8(3):413-416.