Acetyl-L-carnitine is similar in form to the amino acid L-Carnitine and also has some similar functions, such as being involved in the metabolism of food into energy.
The acetyl group that is part of acetyl-L-carnitine contributes to the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for mental function. Several double-blind clinical trials suggest that Acetyl-L-carnitinedelays the progression of Alzheimer's disease and enhances overall performance in some individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.3 Alzheimer’s research has been done with the acetyl-L-carnitine form, rather than the L-carnitine form, of this nutrient.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is a molecule that occurs naturally in the brain, liver, and kidney. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
Acetyl-L-carnitine levels may decrease with advancing age; however, because it is not an essential nutrient, true deficiencies do not occur.