Acetyl-L-Carnitine Reduces Depression
Acetyl-L-Carnitnine is a specific form of the amino acid l-carnitine. Acetyl-L-Carnitine has some unique cognitive enhancing abilities as it enhances the production and activity of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. It has been shown to enhance cognitive function in people with impaired mental function, especially age-related cognitive decline, as well as in young, healthy people.
Not only can acetyl-l-carnitine help you study for an exam or finish a project by providing clarity of thought and enhanced memory ability, but it also might be able to boost mood and ward of depression. Several studies have shown acetyl-l-carnitine to be effective for relieving depression in those who are suffering from depression due to sickness or old age. Doses in the studies were typically 2-4 grams daily. Interestingly, another study found acetyl-l-carnitine to have anti-anxiety properties, although the mechanism for this action was not determined.
Exactly how acetyl-l-carnitine exerts it anti-depressive effect is not completely understood, but it may have something to do with its effects on the cholinergic system. The combination of the cognitive-enhancing and anti-depressive effects of acetyl-l-carnitine make it a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease as mentioned in several papers. Acetyl-L-Carnitine may or may not improve mood and sense of well being in those who are not already suffering from a decline in these areas, although anecdotal evidence suggests that it might and its cognitive-enhancing effects are indeed apparent in people with good mental health.
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