Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua Naturopathic Doctor PhD in Pharmacy

Need Some Brain Power?

By Dr. JJ Dugoua ND PhD



Are you having trouble remembering what you had for breakfast?  Are people always saying that they told you about such-and-such and you don’t remember? Maybe you should consider acetyl-l-carnitine to help with your brain power.

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid similar to L-carnitine, which is commonly used in weight loss. Acetyl-l-carnitine is a molecule that is found naturally in the brain.  It contributes to the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for mental function.  Acetyl-l-carnitine has been shown to improve mental and memory function, particularly in the case of Alzheimer’s disease.


Acetyl-l-carnitine slows Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative disease characterized by the loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain.  This leads to loss of cognitive function, such as loss of memory and language. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

Studies have shown that acetyl-l-carnitine slows the rate of disease progression in Alzheimer’s patients.  Acetyl-l-carnitine improves memory, and some aspects of cognitive function and behavioral performance, such as short-term memory.  Studies have also shown that acetyl-l-carnitine is more likely to have an effect and reduce mental decline when taken in Alzheimer's patients who are less than 66 years of age.


Improves mental performance

A study was conducted in the Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology of the Catholic University of Rome, Italy on the effects of acetyl-l-carnitine on the mental deficits of chronic alcoholics.  Fifty-five chronic alcoholics with mental deficits received either acetyl-carnitine or a placebo for 90 days.

The researchers observed that the patients receiving acetyl-l-carnitine had better performances on mental tasks, such as mnemonics, verbal tasks and learning exercises, than on idinviduals receiving a placebo.  The authors concluded that acetyl-L-carnitine can be a useful and safe therapeutic agent in treating cognitive deficits.


Memory Boost

Acetyl-l-carnitine is but one supplement to help boost your memory.  DHA fish oils and the herb ginkgo biloba are also helpful supplements to improve your memory and brain power.



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Pettegrew JW, Klunk WE, Panchalingam K, Kanfer JN, McClure RJ. Clinical and neurochemical effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging. 1995 Jan-Feb;16(1):1-4.

Tempesta E, Troncon R, Janiri L, Colusso L, Riscica P, Saraceni G, Gesmundo E, Calvani M, Benedetti N, Pola P. Role of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of cognitive deficit in chronic alcoholism. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990;10(1-2):101-7.