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Trying to Burn fat? You need Acetyl L-Carnitine.

Have you heard of Acetyl L-Carnitine? Probably not. But you’re going to wish you had.

This critical amino acid could actually be the key to your weight loss, improved brain function, and overall optimal health.

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What is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl L-Carnitine or (ALCAR) is an amino acid naturally produced by the body. It is made from L-carnitine, a chemical made in the brain, liver, and kidneys. While technically an amino acid, ALCAR is not used to make proteins, rather, it serves a number of important functions throughout your body. Namely, acetyl L-carnitine helps the body to produce energy, making it vital for brain and heart functions, muscle movement, and many other bodily processes.

What does Acetyl L-Carnitine do?

Acetyl L-carnitine’s most important role in the body involves energy production and mitochondrial function. This is why around 98% of acetyl L-carnitine stores are found in the muscles and the remaining 2% is found in the liver and blood, your muscles need ALCAR for quick energy production.

For your mitochondria to properly produce energy, they require a steady supply of fatty acids to use as raw material But, fatty acids can’t enter the mitochondria on their own. Fatty acids rely on a special bodily contraption called the carnitine shuttle.

And, you guessed it, the carnitine shuttle relies on a constant supply of acetyl L-carnitine to function properly. When your body is low on carnitine, fat can’t enter the mitochondria, and your body struggles to create fuel. Further, when fatty acids can’t enter the mitochondria, it causes several detrimental effects, such as:

  • Excess fatty acids designated for energy are stored in fat stores around the body or get deposited into the liver.

  • Mitochondrial function will be impaired, leading to symptoms like lack of endurance, fatigue, digestive problems, diminished motor control, muscle pain and weakness, and poor balance.

Essentially, your body requires a continuous supply of acetyl L-carnitine to continue functioning optimally.

Acetyl L-Carnitine for weight loss:

Acetyl L-Carnitine is one of the primary components required for your body to burn fat. Without it, your body will cease fat burning, and resort to storing fat around your body. Unsurprisingly, this will lead to weight gain. But, with optimal levels of ALCAR, your fat-burning mechanisms will be working like a well-oiled machine, burning off all of that annoying excess fat.

Acetyl L-Carnitine will also boost your exercise performance, further aiding in weight loss. Benefits to exercise performance associated with optimal ALCAR levels include:

Other benefits of Acetyl L-Carnitine:

As described earlier, Acetyl L-Carnitine is used throughout the body; meaning the effects of supplementation will also have body-wide benefits. Further benefits of Acetyl L-Carnitine include:

How to know if you need an acetyl L-carnitine supplement?

If your acetyl L-carnitine stores are below 10%, technically your body is deficient. Men, women, and children of all ages and all ethnic backgrounds are vulnerable to a carnitine deficiency. But those who eat a keto diet, practice intermittent fasting, follow an intense workout regime, or stay in a calorie deficit are at a heightened risk of low acetyl L-carnitine.

A deficiency in acetyl L-carnitine will affect many bodily processes, from your mitochondria to your heart health. That is why your entire body will suffer when you’re low in carnitine. Symptoms of carnitine deficiency include:

  • Fatigue

  • Decreased muscle tone

  • Muscle weakness (Including the hips, shoulders, upper arms, legs, neck, and jaw)

  • Irritability

  • Shortness of breath

  • Symptoms of low blood sugar

  • Enlarged liver

  • Episodes of brain function abnormalities

Regardless of symptoms, the only way to truly know if you’re deficient in acetyl L-carnitine is through an Organic Acid test. An organic acid test is actually one of the best tests to look at your overall health- specifically your digestive system, nutrients, energy, and brain. It will provide comprehensive information that cannot be seen through blood work. An organic acid test is performed using urine and will examine over 70 different markers that provide actionable information.

Beyond acetyl L-carnitine, organic acid testing at the Johnson Center will provide you with vital information about the functioning of your:

  • Gut and Microbiome

  • Oxalates

  • Neurotransmitters

  • Mitochondria

  • Detoxification Pathways

An organic acid test is truly the best way to get to the source of your health issues and figure out a plan to solve them.

If you’re interested in acetyl L-carnitine or organic acid testing at the Johnson Center, click here to contact us. Or email our office at or call 276-235-3205 to schedule your complimentary discovery call.

The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!