Rejuvenate Your Brain with Acetyl-L-Carnitine

For those of you who are interested in maximizing memory and mental performance there’s one brain nutrient never to forget: Acetyl-L-Carnitine. This proven science-based nutrient is shown to protect cells throughout the body against age-related degeneration. However, most clinical research has focused on the brain, where improved memory, mood and mental performance have been observed in response to Acetyl-L-Carnitine administration.1

Both the brain’s need and use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine increase any time it’s engaged in a cognitively demanding task.2 Supplementing with Acetyl-L-Carnitine directly enhances brain energy reserves allowing you to think faster and perform longer.3 Simply stated, when you supplement with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, you significantly increase the brain’s ability to produce mental energy. In essence, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is “fuel for thought.”

Acetyl-l-Carnitine also significantly improves the production of the key neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is instrumental for concentration, learning, memory and mental performance.4 This neurotransmitter is so important for healthy cognition that, in an aging brain, a decrease in acetylcholine directly correlates with symptoms of poor concentration and memory.4


The Premier Neuro-Protective Antioxidant

Even as it naturally revs up healthy brain cell energy production— Acetyl-L-Carnitine has yet another role: potent, brain-targeted antioxidant. While Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a significant antioxidant on its own, at the same time, it improves the production of the two most powerful endogenous (natural) antioxidants – glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Higher levels of these natural antioxidants protect cells throughout the brain and body against age-related degeneration.5-6

Yet more research has found that Acetyl-L-Carnitine promotes nerve cell receptivity to a cytokine called nerve growth factor (NGF); this, in turn, enhances neurons’ responsiveness.7 NGF is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons. It improves nerve growth, synaptic plasticity, and is critical for the survival and maintenance of sympathetic and sensory neurons.


Impressive Results of Cognitive Function Tests

The science behind the benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine as a brain cell protector, energizer, and as a memory enhancer are strong. Moreover, when we look at studies on both humans and animals, we see that daily consumption of Acetyl-L-Carnitine does indeed result in better, faster brain function. A sampling:

  • A study on human subjects with mild memory problems found that six months of Acetyl-L-Carnitine consumption yielded significant improvements in short-term learning ability, long-term recall, verbal skills, as well as improved accuracy of recall of number sequences and accuracy of reactions. Other human trials found improvements in attention, problem-solving ability, motivation, and comprehension.9
  • SPECT testing of humans has found that increasing concentrations of circulating Acetyl-L-Carnitine leads to increased electrochemical activity in the parts of the brain that utilize acetylcholine.9
  • Laboratory animals given Acetyl-L-Carnitine show marked brain activity changes on EEG testing that indicate improved focus and cognitive ability.8
  • Laboratory animals of various ages show enhanced performance on tests of short- and long-term memory, ability to learn, and increased amount of spontaneous exploration of their surroundings.8


References: All references and scientific support for this article are provided in the corresponding chapters of the Brighter Mind® book authored by Dr. Kyl Smith available at

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