Most of the cells in your body contain carnitine, which your liver and kidneys make. Carnitine helps your cells produce energy. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a form of carnitine that's available as a supplement.
People have tried to treat many health problems using ALC, including:
Alzheimer's disease. Several studies show improvements or slower declines in mental ability in people with Alzheimer's disease who took ALC.
High blood sugar.
Research shows that people with prediabetes had some improvement in their blood sugar levels after taking ALC for 2 months.
ALC may help reduce cravings in people who are alcoholic.
Research found that ALC treatment reduced symptoms of depression in older people. It also improved dysthymia, a milder form of depression, about as well as a common medication.
Fragile X syndrome.
This is a genetic problem. ALC has been used to affect certain behaviors in boys with fragile X, such as their social skills and hyperactivity, but research is mixed as to whether it really helps or not.
Men taking ALC in some studies had better sperm movement.
Research has linked ALC with less pain or less intense pain in people with pain from sciatica.
This condition causes the penis to curve abnormally. In one study, men who took daily ALC for 3 months had less pain and curving of the penis. The problem also progressed less in the men taking ALC.
Supplement makers suggest varying amounts of this supplement for different purposes. Common dosages range from 1 to 3 grams daily, divided into several doses. But optimal doses have not been established for any condition. Quality and active ingredients in supplements may vary widely from maker to maker. This makes it’s difficult to establish a standard dose.
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