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Acetyl-L-carnitine for Cardiovascular health, Diabetes & Kidney Disease

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Acetyl-L-Carnitine for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that plays an important role in energy production in the body. Its primary function is to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells, where they are oxidized to produce energy in the form of ATP. However, in recent years, research has revealed a number of additional roles for ALCAR in the cardiovascular system as well as benefits in other systems of the body. In this article, we will review the latest scientific findings on the role of ALCAR in cardiovascular health and other related diseases and conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

acetyl L carnitine for cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Metabolism-of-ALCAR-in-brain-The-mitochondrial-membrane-permeable-acetyl-l-carnitine_fig3_316993047/download

Role of Acetyl – L – Carnitine in Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is the second major cause of chronic kidney disease, oxidative stress is believed to be a major contributor to its pathogenesis. ALCAR has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties, and several studies have investigated its potential role in preventing and treating CVD. In a study published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on oxidative stress and vascular function in hypertensive rats. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly reduced oxidative stress and improved vascular function, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of hypertension and other CVDs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406747/

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls. Studies have suggested that ALCAR may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. In a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rats. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly reduced plaque formation and improved endothelial function, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6984015/

Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury

Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a common complication of several cardiovascular diseases and is characterized by the sudden restoration of blood flow to the ischemic myocardium. I/R injury can cause extensive oxidative damage, which can lead to cardiac dysfunction and cell death. Several studies have investigated the potential role of ALCAR in protecting against I/R injury. In a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on myocardial I/R injury in rats. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly reduced myocardial injury and oxidative stress, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the prevention and treatment of myocardial I/R injury.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7271686/

Acetyl – L – Carnitine and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for CVD. It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Several studies have investigated the potential role of ALCAR in the prevention and treatment of hypertension.

In a study published in the journal Hypertension, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on blood pressure in hypertensive rats. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly reduced blood pressure and improved vascular function, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of hypertension.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734271/

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.153767

Endothelial dysfunction is a common feature of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. It is characterized by reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) and increased oxidative stress. ALCAR has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may help in protecting against endothelial dysfunction.

acetyl L carnitine and cardiovascular and kidney disease health

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2982873/

A study published in Clinical and Experimental Hypertension investigated the effects of ALCAR on endothelial function in hypertensive patients. The researchers found that ALCAR treatment improved endothelial function and reduced oxidative stress. These findings suggest that ALCAR has therapeutic potential in the treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.132522

Acetyl – L – Carnitine and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high levels of blood glucose. It is a major risk factor for CVD, and is associated with a range of complications, including nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and of course chronic kidney disease. Several studies have investigated the potential role of ALCAR in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

ALCAR contributes to the proper use of glucose by the cell, thereby improving the regulation of glucose metabolism of the diabetic patient and preventing complications such as fatigue, insomnia, and mental activity. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7273356/

In a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese adults. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly improved insulin sensitivity and reduced markers of inflammation, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetes.

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.132522

Acetyl – L – Carnitine and Kidney Disease

ALCAR has been shown to have potential benefits in the prevention and treatment of kidney disease.

In a study published in the journal Nephron, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR on oxidative stress and kidney function in rats with chronic renal failure. They found that ALCAR treatment significantly reduced oxidative stress and improved kidney function, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

In a recent study published in the Renal Failure Journal, researchers investigated the potential therapeutic effects of Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study aimed to investigate the effects of ALCAR on renal function and oxidative stress in rats with CKD.

The results showed that ALCAR treatment significantly improved renal function and reduced oxidative stress in rats with CKD. The findings suggest that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the prevention and treatment of CKD. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action and optimal dosing of ALCAR in the prevention and treatment of kidney diseases.

A very recent study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine in February of 2023 investigated the effect of Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) supplementation on kidney function and inflammation in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The study was conducted on 44 CKD patients, who were randomly divided into two groups – one group received ALCAR supplementation while the other group received a placebo. The study lasted for 12 weeks, and at the end of the study period, the researchers found that the ALCAR group had significant improvements in kidney function, as indicated by decreased serum creatinine levels and increased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Moreover, the ALCAR group also had significantly reduced levels of inflammation markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). These findings suggest that ALCAR may have potential therapeutic effects in the management of CKD by improving kidney function and reducing inflammation.

Overall, this study provides promising evidence for the use of ALCAR in the management of CKD. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36836532/ 

Nerve Pain and Acetyl – L – Carnitine

Nerve pain, or neuropathic pain, is a common and debilitating condition that can result from a variety of causes, including nerve injury, inflammation, and certain medical conditions. ALCAR supplementation has been studied as a potential treatment for nerve pain due to its ability to modulate nerve function and reduce inflammation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6498091/

In a study published in the Journal of Pain Research, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR supplementation on nerve pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy. They found that ALCAR supplementation significantly reduced pain scores and improved nerve function, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/28/1/89/25830/Acetyl-l-Carnitine-Improves-Pain-Nerve

In another study published in the Journal of Pain, researchers investigated the effects of ALCAR supplementation on nerve pain in patients with fibromyalgia. They found that ALCAR supplementation significantly reduced pain scores and improved quality of life, suggesting that ALCAR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of fibromyalgia-related nerve pain.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17543140/

Mechanisms of Action

The mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of ALCAR supplementation on nerve pain are not fully understood. However, it is thought that ALCAR may modulate nerve function and reduce inflammation through several mechanisms.

ALCAR has been shown to increase nerve growth factor (NGF) levels, which may promote nerve regeneration and repair. ALCAR may also modulate the activity of ion channels and receptors involved in nerve function, such as the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and voltage-gated calcium channels.

In addition, ALCAR has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may protect against nerve damage and inflammation.

ALCAR has a variety of potential health benefits, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying these effects, the current evidence suggests that ALCAR may be a useful adjunct therapy for these conditions. 

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/L-carnitine#cardiovascular-disease-treatment

Causes of Acetyl – L – Carnitine Deficiency

A deficiency in ALCAR is rare in healthy individuals who consume a balanced diet. However, there are some circumstances that may increase the risk of ALCAR deficiency. These include malnutrition, chronic alcoholism, chronic kidney disease, and certain genetic disorders that impair the synthesis or uptake of carnitine. 

Additionally, some medications such as valproic acid, which is used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, can reduce the levels of ALCAR in the body. 

Foods high in Acetyl – L – Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is a compound that is naturally produced in the body and is also found in some foods. However, the levels of ALCAR in foods are generally much lower than the levels found in supplements.

Foods that contain ALCAR include:

  1. Red meat: Beef, lamb, and pork are all good sources of ALCAR.
  2. Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain ALCAR.
  3. Fish: Some types of fish, such as cod and haddock, contain small amounts of ALCAR.
  4. Poultry: Chicken and turkey are good sources of ALCAR.
  5. Vegetables: Asparagus and Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of ALCAR.

While it is possible to obtain some ALCAR from the diet, the amounts are generally small and may not be sufficient to provide therapeutic benefits, and of course, most of these foods need to be avoided if you suffer from kidney disease. Supplementation with ALCAR is generally required to achieve therapeutic doses of the compound. It is recommended that individuals speak with a healthcare provider before taking ALCAR supplements, particularly if they have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medications.

Dosage

When it comes to dosing and administration of Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), the amount can vary depending on the condition being treated. For age-related cognitive decline, a dosage of 1500-2000 mg per day for three months has been used. 

Meanwhile, for age-related fatigue, a higher dose of 2 grams twice daily for 180 days has been used. For those with age-related testosterone deficiency, a daily dose of 2 grams of ALCAR in combination with 2 grams of propionyl-L-carnitine for six months has been used.

For antiretroviral toxic neuropathy, a dosage of 1000-1500 mg of ALCAR twice daily for up to 33 months has been used. 

For diabetic neuropathy, a daily dosage of 1.5-3 grams in divided doses for up to one year has been used. 

It is important to note that these dosages are based on clinical studies and that individuals should always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Safety and Drug Interactions

Acetyl-L-carnitine is generally considered safe when taken orally. However, as with any supplement, there are potential side effects to consider. 

Some of the reported side effects of acetyl-L-carnitine are neurologic/CNS-related, such as headache and insomnia. 

Other side effects reported are more general, such as an unpleasant fishy odour in urine, breath, and sweat caused by one of the metabolites of acetyl-L-carnitine. Additionally, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, hiccups, abdominal distension, and gastrointestinal upset or pain may occur. However, these symptoms are not typically more common in patients taking acetyl-L-carnitine compared to those taking a placebo. 

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting supplementation. The recommended dosages for ALCAR can vary depending on the condition being treated.

Regarding potential drug interactions, caution should be exercised when combining ALCAR with serotonergic drugs, such as those used to treat depression and anxiety, as it may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome and cerebral vasoconstrictive disorders. 

There is also a theoretical risk that ALCAR may decrease the effectiveness of thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, ALCAR may increase the anticoagulant effects of warfarin and acenocoumarol, and it is important to closely monitor coagulation levels when taking these medications.

ALCAR has been shown to have a variety of potential therapeutic effects in the prevention and treatment of kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy and CKD. 

So there you have it, everything you need to know about Acetyl – L – Carnitine. If you have found this article useful please feel free to share it with your family or friends or head over to our Facebook page and leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.

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