As an amino acid, Carnitine increases energy levels by transporting fatty acids, which can be burned and used as fuel, into the mitochondria. Carnitine comes in two forms, including L-carnitine and d-carnitine. Among them, L-carnitine is the only biologically active form of Carnitine. Moreover, different types of Carnitine also come in several forms, such as acetyl-L-carnitine, L-carnitine fumarate, etc. Today, Nutri Avenue focuses on “Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine.” How should the two ingredients be distinguished and selected?
Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine: What Are They?
L-Carnitine: The Only Active Form Of Carnitine
First, from the appearance point of view, L-carnitine powder appears as white crystals. It is a hygroscopic powder. The melting point of this compound is approximately 198 degrees Celsius. This ingredient is easily soluble in water and hot alcohol. However, it is insoluble in acetone, ether, and benzene.
As a derivative of lysine, it is an active form that metabolizes energy and plays a role in production. This compound was originally isolated from meat. The bioavailability of L-carnitine is approximately 10%, but its protein-binding capacity is zero.
The main benefits of L-carnitine are as follows.
- It increases endurance.
In a study published in the journal Strength and Conditioning Research, professional football players were given 3 to 4 grams of L-carnitine before exercise and found that it prolonged the time it took for the body to become exhausted.
An Indian animal study published in the journal Wilderness and Environment showed that giving rats L-carnitine improved exercise endurance.
- It promotes weight loss.
An Iranian study analyzed the results of nine studies and found that carnitine supplementation can cause weight loss significantly compared with a control group. Moreover, the decrease in body mass index was also greater.
However, there are also some other research conclusions. In a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition, participants completed eight weeks of aerobic training. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that L-carnitine did not affect total body weight or fat mass.
- It prevents muscle damage.
In a 2014 study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 21 male athletes took either L-carnitine or a placebo daily for two weeks before an exercise test. Compared to the control group, those who took this ingredient were found to have lower levels of certain markers that indicate muscle damage.
- It increases fat burning.
In a study conducted in Germany, overweight participants received a regular diet with or without the addition of L-carnitine. After 10 days, it shows L-carnitine was found to significantly increase fat breakdown.
In the Journal of Physiology, another study showed that increasing the amount of Carnitine in muscles prevents fat gain by increasing fat burning and energy expenditure during physical activity.
- It enhances brain function.
A study conducted by the University of Catania in Italy was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This research topic is about the effects of daily supplementation of L-carnitine on the mental and physical fatigue of 100-year-old elderly people. Studies have found that it reduces total fat and increases muscle mass. It also reduces fatigue and improves cognitive function.
- It may have the potential to regulate blood sugar.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that injecting L-carnitine into people with diabetes can improve insulin sensitivity and increase the absorption of sugar into the blood.
Another small study conducted in 2010 by Sapienza University’s Department of Clinical Medicine found that combining L-carnitine with caloric restriction can reduce insulin resistance and improve sensitivity.
All in all, many people take L-carnitine to accelerate weight loss and burn fat. But the ingredient’s benefits also include enhancing brain function, preventing muscle damage, regulating blood sugar, increasing endurance, etc.
2 Ways To Supplement L-Carnitine
L-carnitine can be produced in the body. But it can also be taken as a supplement or found in many protein foods. In supplement form, it’s available as capsules, liquids, and even injections. Protein foods include cooked steak and beef, whole milk, cod, chicken breast, and more.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: A Derivative Of L-Carnitine
Generally, L-carnitine can be produced in the brain, liver, and kidneys. Then converted to acetyl-L-carnitine. This process takes place in the body. Both ingredients help convert fat into energy in the body. Additionally, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is useful for many body processes. Details are as follows.
- It can affect fat metabolism in the body to a certain extent, helping to lower blood lipids, burn fat, lose weight, etc. It has a relatively wide range of functions and effects in applying acetyl L-carnitine.
- It can help remove excess fatty acyl-CoA from the body and prevent damage to cells, such as nerve cells.
- It reduces lactic acid production in muscles during anaerobic exercise. To a certain extent, it can improve explosive power in sports and enhance endurance.
How Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Affect The Brain?
Once it passes the blood-brain barrier, acetyl-L-carnitine helps promote the synthesis of the primary neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine. The main function of acetylcholine is to facilitate communication between nerve cells. By promoting acetylcholine synthesis, acetyl-L-carnitine plays an important role in supporting memory health, focus, and alertness and improving sleep and muscle contraction.
In 2018, a study conducted by a research team from Rockefeller University in New York and Stanford University and published in PNAS showed that Acetyl-l-carnitine deficiency in patients with major depressive disorder (pnas.org) These individuals with major depressive disorder had much lower LAC levels in their blood than healthy controls. In addition, supplementing acetyl-L-carnitine to these animals with depressive characteristics can quickly and permanently resist depression.
Another 2-month study divided 24 patients with depression into two groups. The first group took acetyl-L-carnitine for the first month and then a placebo. The second group received a placebo for the first month and acetyl-L-carnitine for the second. Results show that acetyl-L-carnitine is effective in relieving depression. This data is statistically significant.
Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine: What Are The Main Differences?
Acetyl-L-carnitine can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and has a unique mode of action in the human body. This property allows it to remain in the central nervous system, where its main effects actually occur. It can provide energy to brain cells through fat transport mechanisms. However, its primary function is its ability to serve as a substrate for producing acetylcholine, one of the body’s primary neurotransmitters. Additionally, it has antioxidant properties.
L-carnitine is an essential carrier for the transport of fatty acids within cells. It prevents fatty acids from accumulating inside cells. It transports long-chain fatty acids, which are oxidized and broken down to produce energy, into the mitochondria. On the other hand, it transports away toxic substances produced within cells. Therefore, L-carnitine is a key substance that helps in the fat metabolism process. It is recognized as one of the best natural weight loss supplements available. This ingredient may reduce the effects of aging and disease on mitochondria.
Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine: How To Choose?
Nutri Avenue recommends choosing L-carnitine as the main ingredient if your product focuses on weight loss and fat burning. If the brand wants the product to include more functions, such as promoting brain health, acetyl-L-carnitine may be a better choice.
In addition, the combined use of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine can improve male oligoasthenozoospermia. In 2004, Lenzi et al. conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. They showed that the combined application of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine significantly improves sperm motility and density. In the same year, Gavallini et al. also reported similar research conclusions. A double-blind controlled clinical trial of 355 patients confirmed Lenzi’s findings. It has also been shown that combined administration of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine can increase the pregnancy rate in patients with oligoasthenozoospermia to 21.7% compared to 1.7% in the placebo control group.
Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine: Each Has Its Own Use And Also Can Be Combined.
On the market, L-carnitine powder is mainly used in weight loss and fat-burning products. Acetyl-L-carnitine is easier to absorb than L-carnitine. It can enter the brain and nervous system and maintain their organ functions. Therefore, the application of acetyl-L-carnitine can involve the field of brain health. The two ingredients work together to support men’s health-related products.
Today, Nutri Avenue mainly focuses on the topic “Acetyl L Carnitine VS L Carnitine” to discuss. Actually, each carnitine type is different. And they can be used in different supplement products. We offer Acetyl L Carnitine and L Carnitine powder. Other types of carnitine are also available. We can support developing and launching products related to weight loss, fat burning, brain health, and men’s health.