Animal study shows potential application for ALC and LA in memory loss.




Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci

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Memory is a person’s ability to remember information in the past and the present and is considered to be the most common and the most important cognitive ability that can be lost. In reviewing age-related cognitive decline, it is important to know that there is a difference between the normal aging process, and dementia. In normal aging, the loss of memory is slow and involves things like forgetting where objects are located, or forgetting a person’s name or phone number. In dementia causing illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, the process continually worsens until the patient is unable to perform normal activities of daily living. In addition to memory loss, cognitive decline may manifest in areas of alertness, orientation and attention span.

The role of oxidative stress in cognitive decline has been the focus of numerous studies. The February 2002 issue of the Procedures of the National Academy of Science reported on a rat study that may show some potential for using acetyl-L-Carnitine and Lipoic acid to reduce or even reverse some of this oxidative damage. In this study, acetyl L-Carnitine, a chemical product of the amino acid Carnitine, and R-lipoic acid were added to the drinking water of old rats. Rats were fed either the acetyl L-Carnitine, R-lipoic acid, or a combination of both. Varieties of tests were administered to determine improvements in spatial and temporal memory after rats had been receiving the supplementation for one month. While there was improvement noted in each individual group, the rats receiving both acetyl L-carnitine and R-lipoic acid showed the most significant improvement in the administered memory tests. In addition, the combination of both supplements lowered oxidative damage and improved mitochondrial function better than either of the supplements alone.1


1. Liu J. Memory loss in old rats is associated with brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation: Partial reversal by feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R--lipoic acid. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2002;99(4):2356-2361.