Targeting brain health with L-carnitine


The growing interest in cognitive health provides an opportunity for performance-driven ingredients with the amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine

Targeting brain health with L-carnitine

Consumers have continued to evolve and become more proactive when it comes to addressing healthy ageing concerns, specifically related to brain, joint and bone health. According to Zion Research, cognitive concerns have increased in market value from US$1.3 billion in 2017 to a projected $5.9 bn in 2024, and a CAGR of 15% between 2018 and 2024.

What’s interesting is the growing interest from consumers of all ages related to optimal brain function. Improvement in concentration, memory, attention and mood are among the top priorities for youths and adults alike. It’s clear that cognitive health will continue to increase in importance with regard to healthy ageing.

A particular nutrient has really been shown to positively affect cognitive performance. L-carnitine is naturally produced in the human body by the liver and kidneys and is transported to other tissues, including the brain. L-Carnitine is important because of its involvement in fatty acid metabolism across mitochondrial membranes.

It breaks down parts of these acids and contributes to the formation of ATP. Without adequate L-carnitine, oxidation and its residual waste can inflict unwanted damage on mitochondria. As we get older, the damage can accumulate and result in potentially harmful effects, including those most often associated with cognitive decline.

The amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring form of L-carnitine found in the brain and liver. ALC is unique in its ability to stabilise nerve cell membranes, support mitochondrial function and maintain healthy neurotransmitter activity. ALC also helps to minimise cellular waste during the ATP process. Antioxidants are critical in helping to reduce damage caused by free radicals or reactive oxygen species and other toxic residue by-products.

The brain produces a great deal of toxic by-product, thus requiring greater protection. ALC plays an important role in promoting mitochondrial efficiency. With ALC, greater nutrient transfer results in improved mitochondria function, which in turn provides energy to the body as well as antioxidant protection for the cells.

In the absence of mitochondrial efficiency, individuals may experience common complaints related to ageing, including loss of memory, learning, recall and cognition.

Although ALC can be found in dietary sources, such as meat and dairy, it is most often consumed in the form of a dietary supplement. There are, however, very few ALC-based supplements that have the ability to address the cognitive concerns outlined.

ALC solutions such as MitoCarn can help to effectively penetrate the blood/brain barrier to deliver nutrients directly to the brain. The molecules increase healthy blood flow and support wide-ranging functions that contribute to healthy cognition.*

As the interest in cognitive health continues to grow for all age segments, the focus will be on the validation of cognitive performance claims. This provides a great opportunity for science and performance-driven ALC ingredients, as well as individuals seeking to improve cognitive acuity.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.