Acetyl L carnitine is an amino acid, which the body uses to turn fat into energy. It is known as a non-essential amino acid, as it is produced naturally by the body in the liver and kidneys. However, it is a popular supplement because of its known effects on fat burning and on brain health.
Studies have shown that acetyl L carnitine supplementation can boost cognition, memory and mood. It works by facilitating the production of acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter. Recent research has focused on whether the neuro-protective properties of acetyl L carnitine may help to slow the progression of Alzheimer's and dementia.
As an athletic supplement, acetyl L carnitine helps to moderate blood sugar levels during carb loading, and facilitates the faster release of energy from fat during sporting activities. Sometimes sold as a weight loss aid, acetyl L carnitine may help to reduce fatigue, thereby making physical activity more likely.
In the diet, the best source of acetyl L carnitine is red meat, especially lamb. Fish, poultry and avocados are also good sources. As a supplement, it is available in capsule form or as a powder.