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Clayton's Health Facts: ALC.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

1. What is it and where does it come from?

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a dietary supplement, and the acetyl ester of L-carnitine, used to improve memory, such as in Alzheimer's disease. It occurs naturally in animal products. Chemically, acetyl-L-carnitine is known as beta-acetoxy-gamma-N, N, N-trimethylaminobutyrate. Other names for acetyl-L-carnitine include: acetyl-levocarnitine, acetylcarnitine, l-acetylcarnitine, levacecarnine, and ST-200.

2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?

Acetyl-L-carnitine may improve depression and may have neuroprotective activity. It may also have cardioprotective activity and may beneficially affect cardiac function. It may enhance sperm motiliy, have cytoprotective, antioxidant and anti-apoptotic activity. Other uses for acetyl-L-carnitine include the treatment of Parkinson's disease, stroke, and Peyronie's disease.

3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Acetyl-L-carnitine levels may decrease with advancing age. However, because it is not an essential nutrient, true deficiencies do not occur.

4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

Most research involving acetyl-L-carnitine has used 500 mg three times per day, though some research has used double this amount. You should consult with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about how much acetyl-L-carnitine you should take. The dosage depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking acetyl-L-carnitine. If you are using acetyl-L-carnitine without first consulting your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more acetyl-L-carnitine or take it more often than what is written on the directions.

5. Where can I get it?

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a molecule that occurs naturally in the brain, liver, and kidney. It is also available as a dietary supplement. has many options for supplementing acetyl-L-carnitine.

NOTE: L-Carnitine products are different and are not listed on this page. Click here to check them out.