Acetyl-L-Carnitine Against Depression

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a derivative of the nutrient factor L-carnitine. Evidence suggests that acetyl-L-carnitine is able to significantly affect brain behaviour through changes in energy metabolism and its neuroprotective effects. In one double-blind placebo controlled trial involving human subjects, researchers administered 2000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine for 40 days  to a group of depressed individuals who had not been taking pharmaceutical treatment for their condition for at least 15 days. The results of the study showed that the acetyl-L-carnitine supplement caused significant improvements in mood, although benefits varied between subjects, with 6 patients being particularly benefited. In addition there were significantly lower cortisol levels in those patients that took the acetyl-L-carnitine compared to those that took the placebo. These results suggest that acetyl-L-carnitine may be a useful treatment for depression in clinically diagnosed patients with depressive-like symptoms. 

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Gecele, M., Francesetti, G. and Meluzzi, A. 1991. Acetyl-L-carnitine in aged subjects with major depression: clinical efficacy and effects on the circadian rhythm of cortisol. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders. 2(6): 333-337

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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