From a chemical point of view, acetyl-L-Carnitine is the acetylated form of L-Carnitine. L-carnitine is a very important molecule for our body, in particular for aerobic metabolism and for effective fat metabolism, as we have already discussed in the dedicated Science Behind (https://watt.it/en_uk/experience/science-behind/l-carnitina-2).
First of all, it must be clarified what “acetylated form of L-Carnitine” means: let’s imagine a trailer truck made up, of its trailer and the tractor that transports it. Imagine L-carnitine as the trailer and the driving part as the acetylated part (“acetyl” group) of the trailer. In this way we can have an idea of how acetyl-L-Carnitine is made up: the union of two separate molecules in one. One gram of acetyl-L-carnitine is made up of roughly one third of acetyl group and two thirds of -L-carnitine: therefore, to obtain 1 gram of L-carnitine, almost 1.5 grams of acetyl-L-Carnitine will be needed.
From the food point of view, acetyl-L-Carnitine is present in meat (as L-Carnitine) in particular in red meat; moreover it is normally produced by our biochemistry starting from the amino acids L-lysine and L-methionine, and its synthesis is very active in the brain.
It should be pointed out that acetyl-L-Carnitine should not be thought of simply and solely as a source of L-Carnitine. It is something more!
Indeed, in addition to all the nutritional properties of L-Carnitine, acetyl-L-Carnitine has some extra advantages! Noteworthy, it has an important neuroprotective action, in particular on the peripheral nervous system, giving relief to pain in the nerves (for example in situations of sciatica) and improving its functionality (Sima et al., Diabetes Care, 2005).
Moreover acetyl-L-Carnitine positively influences cognitive functions thanks to its ability to improve metabolism and mitochondrial function in the brain. In addition, it performs an antioxidant action, which is fundamental for an organ such as the brain, which consumes high quantities of oxygen and is therefore exposed to potential damage from oxidative stress (Liu et al., Ann NY Acad Sci, 2004). In animal models, supplementation with acetyl-L-Carnitine improves synaptic transmission and learning and memory skills, as well as slowing down brain aging (Barnes et al., Neurobiol Aging, 1990). All these properties have suggested to some scientists that acetyl-L-Carnitine may be a nutraceutical useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Future studies will shed light on this hypothesis.
From the point of view of its use as a food supplement, it is good to know that the acetyl group reduces the solubility in water of acetyl-L-Carnitine: therefore, unlike L-carnitine, it is possible to develop and produce only food supplements in solid format (tablets or capsules) of acetyl -L-Carnitine, and not in liquid and drink format.
Recommended use: we recommend taking Acetyl L-Carnitine +, 1 tablet a day with a glass of water preferably on an empty stomach.