Updated: 2019, Aug 2

Acetyl-l-Carnitine: Benefits, Side-Effects, Dosage and Interactions

Acetyl-l-Carnitine: Benefits, Side-Effects, Dosage and Interactions

Acetyl-l-Carnitine Overview

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is produced naturally in the body. It boosts energy level in the body. It is beneficial for men, it helps to treat infertility, and low testosterone levels due to aging as well as peyronie’s, a disease of the penis. It is also used for various mental disorders such as age related memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, problems of thinking related Lyme disease and late life depression. Our body can convert L-carnitine to acetyl-L-carnitine and vice versa.

Where Does Acetyl-l-Carnitine come From?

Acetyl L carnitine is an amino acid that is present throughout the body. It is made in the kidneys and liver. It is synthesized in the body from the amino acids methionine and lysine and requires vitamin C for its formation. Primarily, it is also found in red meat specifically of beef and lamb and dairy products.

How Acetyl L Carnitine is Beneficial?


Acetyl-L-carnitine is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and heart, muscle movement and other body process. It is required for poor circulation in the brain, Down syndrome, nerve pain because of diabetes, cataracts and facial paralysis. It helps to balance the levels of neurotransmitters which are the chemical mediators of brain electrical transmissions. It is also required for the production of energy from fats to support heart and brain function. Supplementation of Acetyl L Carnitine has been shown effective in the treatment of chronic degenerative disease and aging.

Are There Any Side Effects of Acetyl-l-Carnitine?

For most adults Acetyl-L-carnitine is likely safe. It can cause some side effects such as nausea, stomach upset, restlessness and vomiting. It can cause a fishy odor of the breath and urine.

Acetyl-L-carnitine can interfere with thyroid hormone; it is risky to use acetyl-L-carnitine if you have an under-active thyroid.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Acetyl-l-Carnitine

The doses for Acetyl L Carnitine differ according to the complications.

  • For age-related memory loss it is recommended to take 1500-2000 mg daily.
  • For Alzheimer’s disease it is recommended to take 1500-4000 mg daily, usually divided into two or three doses in a day.
  • For depression in adults it is recommended to take 1500-3000 mg every day in divided doses.
  • For Peyronie’s disease it is recommended to take 1 gram twice daily for about 3 months.
  • For diabetic neuropathy it is recommended to take 1500 to 3000 mg a day in divided doses.

All these doses have been studied in scientific research.

Acetyl-l-Carnitine Supplements

Acetyl-L-carnitine is basically sold as an only ingredient in capsule and powder form as it is hydroscopic and has a very sour taste. It becomes challenging to combine it with other ingredients in a powder form.

Acetyl-l-Carnitine Interactions

Acetyl L Carnitine interacts with Acenocoumarol which is used to slow down blood clotting. It increases the effectiveness of acenocoumarol which in turn can make this process even slow.


Additionally, a number of studies show that L-carnitine is useful in increasing the output of heart and improving its functioning. It also stimulates the energy supply of heart as well as support cardiac performance.

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