Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Acetyl-L-Carnitine For Neuropathy Problems

Today's post from (see link below) is another post looking at the benefits of acetyl-L-Carnitine as a supplement for neuropathy symptoms (there are more in the list to the right of this blog). Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is frequently recommended for nerve damage problems and there is little doubt that it helps a number of people. However, taking ALC on its own may be of little benefit (it is often coupled with Alpha Lipoic Acid for best effect) and it's always wise to do more research and get some expert advice, either from your doctor or specialist. You need to know what sort of dose you will need; whether other supplements should be taken alongside it and whether it clashes with any other drugs you are taking (especially HIV drugs). You should also remember that what works for one doesn't always work for everybody and as these supplements are not cheap, you should take everything into consideration before starting.

New Hope for Neuropathy
Posted by Stan Hingston at Monday, October 21, 2013
Neuropathy is a painful condition caused by damage to the nerves. Symptoms include: numbness and tingling; inability to feel temperature; and intense, often crippling, pain.

Neuropathy can be caused by traumatic injury to the peripheral nerves or spinal cord; diabetes; chemotherapy; stroke; certain auto-immune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis; and some viruses including HIV. Neuropathy often responds poorly to normal analgesics so antidepressants, steroids, and opioid drugs are often used to manage the pain. Unfortunately with chronic use, these often develop significant unwanted side effects.

But there is hope. Researchers testing an amino acid, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), are finding that it effectively relieves the pain of neuropathy but even more importantly, it also assists with repair of the damaged nerves and reverses numbness. People with neuropathy were able to feel their arms and feet again within a year of starting ALC. And all this without long-term side effects.

Acetyl-L-carnitine has also been used, with varying success, for a variety of neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s, memory loss, depression, alcoholism, and Down syndrome. It is also touted as an aid to weight loss and men’s sexual function, but there is little evidence to support these uses.

ALC is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that your liver can synthesize it from another amino acid (lysine). But as we age and our health deteriorates our ability to create ALC diminishes.

ALC is mostly found in meat, especially lamb. ALC is available as a supplement in Canada without prescription. ALC is a special, more bioavailable, form of L-carnitine and appears to work better for this purpose. Alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and a B complex, taken along with ALC, may improve its effectiveness.

Caution: medical supervision is strongly recommended for anyone considering taking ALC who is taking blood thinning medication, certain cancer or HIV medications, or has a severe mood disorder (eg Bipolar Depression).

This Amino Acid Reverses Nerve Damage Institute for Natural Healing, October 2013
L-Acetylcarnitine: A Proposed Therapeutic Agent for Painful Peripheral Neuropathies Current Neuropharmacology, July 2006
Acetyl-L-carnitine (levacecarnine) in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. A long-term, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials. Diabetes Care, Jan 2005
The Therapeutic Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Peripheral Neuropathy: A Review of the Literature. Natural Medicine Journal 8/1/2010

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner. See this article on my website for links to sources and further reading.

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