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L-carnitine versus acetyl l-carnitine (ALCAR)

alcar l-carnitine

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#1 Kabb

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 12:07 PM


ALCAR is said to be better than l-carnitine for brain function because, in addition to containing carnitine, it also contains acetyl which (a) helps transport the carnitine into the brain tissue and (b) the acetyl is used to form acetylcholine.

 

I am wondering if I am carnitine deficient and will ask my doctor to arrange some tests.  My experimental results  suggests ALCAR and l-carnitine are each providing slightly different benefits for me based on the following:

 

(a) After weeks of taking 3 grams daily of ALCAR, when I substitute it with l-carnitine I get a good improvement.

(b) When I take l-carnitine (3grams daily for weeks) and then substitute it back to ALCAR, I get some improvement.

 

If I took both ALCAR and l-carnitine then would would one interfere with the benefits of the other?


Edited by Kabb, 18 March 2017 - 12:11 PM.


#2 iseethelight

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:06 PM

Careful. Taking over 3g of carnitine salts a day will make you smell like fish, aka fishy body odor.

Alcar crosses the blood brain barrier and helps detoxify the brain from free radicals and ammonia . L carnitine does this mostly in the liver and body, albeit more efficiently than alcar. 


Edited by iseethelight, 18 March 2017 - 02:09 PM.

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#3 Duchykins

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:10 PM

They are not equivalent and shouldn't be compared to each other.  They are not the same molecule and don't have the same effects in the body.  

 

Supplement retailers like to set them up against each other a lot because they want to make acetylcarnitine to look like a better supplement.  You have to be careful about this because the industry has little regulation so they can get away with saying and doing quite a bit.

 

I really have no idea why you seem to be feeling improvements from switching them out every so often, other than placebo.

 

And 3 grams is a bit excessive for either.  

 

Unless you have some rare medical condition, or are a vegan, and therefore would benefit from larger doses, 1 gram of l-carnitine is quite enough.  Your body synths some or most of what you need, and you get the rest from foods from the animal kingdom.

 

L-carnitine, as a supplement, is primarily for total-body support of mitochondrial function (this naturally includes the brain).  It is used often in medicine to help people with mitochondrial, metabolic disorders in combination with several other synergistic nutrients, usually things like taurine, l-carnosine, CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, other B vitamins.  

 

From the literature I've read on l-carnitine, the safest max therapeutic dose administered seems to be about 2 grams a day.

 

 

Acetylcarnitine does most of its work in the brain, donating its acetyl group to make acetylcholine.  Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on the individual's biochemistry, diet and whatever other supplements or medications they are currently taking.  ALCAR can do more harm than good to some people in this manner; however you'll find that ALCAR has garnered more interest in research so it's easy find more information about it.

 

I personally stick only to the l-carnitine, at 1 gram a day.  ALCAR does bad things to me, as does most supplements that increase ACh in one way or another.

 

I have to say that whether or not you were carnitine "deficient" before (which is honestly unlikely since even adult vegans can last years on their diets before suffering any ill-effects of missing the assistance of nutrients found in the animal kingdom - if you have a problem with carnitine, it would have landed you in the doctor's office long before now), you would not be now after many weeks (months?) of taking these supplements.  

 

But getting checked out by a doctor is still a good idea.

 

Certainly please do not take 3 grams of each in the same day.


Edited by Duchykins, 18 March 2017 - 07:11 PM.

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#4 Kabb

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:00 PM

They are not equivalent and shouldn't be compared to each other.  They are not the same molecule and don't have the same effects in the body.  

 

Supplement retailers like to set them up against each other a lot because they want to make acetylcarnitine to look like a better supplement.  You have to be careful about this because the industry has little regulation so they can get away with saying and doing quite a bit.[/quote]

 

I really have no idea why you seem to be feeling improvements from switching them out every so often, other than placebo.

 

And 3 grams is a bit excessive for either.  

 

Unless you have some rare medical condition, or are a vegan, and therefore would benefit from larger doses, 1 gram of l-carnitine is quite enough.  Your body synths some or most of what you need, and you get the rest from foods from the animal kingdom.

 

Hello Dutchykins.  Thanks for an interesting post.

 

My MELAS condition is a rare metabolic disease which results in such insufficient ATP being generated that various mitochondrial functions (like fatty acid processing) become disrupted because they lack the energy to operate.  I think this is where l-carnitine helps although in another suspected condition in my case (an organic acidurea), carnitine can get rapidly depleted while removing toxins because it is not being recycled.  This is a highly technical area and I can't say which pathways are damaged in my case.  However if I can understand the conventional carnitine pathways in a healthy person then I can look at the variations I may be experiencing.  The primary organs I seem to have trouble with are the CNS and the liver.

 

I don't think I am getting a placebo effect by changing to and from ALCAR and l-carnitine.  (Everyone with a placebo effect must say that).  I imagine each form of carnitine targets a slightly different area and I may need both of them to be addressed.  if this is the case then when I take only one form, I may be experiencing depletion of the other - until it I take it days or weeks later..

 

I understand from an info page by Swanson that you can take ALCAR and l-carnitine on the same day but they advise not at the same time.  Of course this is for healthy people and may or may not apply to me.  I wonder if there is an actual conflict (perhaps they compete for the same transporter somewhere) or maybe Swanson's advice is largely based on how they are taken (one with food and one without).

 

Your points about marketing ALCAR and l-carnitine are interesting.  Do you have any views about l-carnitine l-tartrate?  This form is said to favour the muscles but I wonder if it have any other useful properties when it comes to being transported or used by the body.  

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Kabb, 18 March 2017 - 10:07 PM.


#5 Duchykins

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:45 PM

 

 

 

Hello Dutchykins.  Thanks for an interesting post.

 

My MELAS condition is a rare metabolic disease which results in such insufficient ATP being generated that various mitochondrial functions (like fatty acid processing) become disrupted because they lack the energy to operate.  I think this is where l-carnitine helps although in another suspected condition in my case (an organic acidurea), carnitine can get rapidly depleted while removing toxins because it is not being recycled.  This is a highly technical area and I can't say which pathways are damaged in my case.  However if I can understand the conventional carnitine pathways in a healthy person then I can look at the variations I may be experiencing.  The primary organs I seem to have trouble with are the CNS and the liver.

 

I don't think I am getting a placebo effect by changing to and from ALCAR and l-carnitine.  (Everyone with a placebo effect must say that).  I imagine each form of carnitine targets a slightly different area and I may need both of them to be addressed.  if this is the case then when I take only one form, I may be experiencing depletion of the other - until it I take it days or weeks later..

 

I understand from an info page by Swanson that you can take ALCAR and l-carnitine on the same day but they advise not at the same time.  Of course this is for healthy people and may or may not apply to me.  I wonder if there is an actual conflict (perhaps they compete for the same transporter somewhere) or maybe Swanson's advice is largely based on how they are taken (one with food and one without).

 

Your points about marketing ALCAR and l-carnitine are interesting.  Do you have any views about l-carnitine l-tartrate?  This form is said to favour the muscles but I wonder if it have any other useful properties when it comes to being transported or used by the body.  

 

 

I get most of my supps from Swanson's too, for years.  Including the l-carnitine.  I take it as part of a mitochondrial support regimen for migraine prophylaxis.

 

L-carnitine tartrate is the commonest form of supplemental carnitine as a tablet, powder and liquid.  And in medical use as an intravenous fluid.  There's nothing much special about tartate as it is used in a lot of household products, foods and medications.

 

I don't pretend to be a chemist but its primary use is probably to bond with other ions in order to create something that is shelf-stable - a fairly innocuous anion to bond with a cation to create an overall neutral molecule that hasn't been altered in such a way that the molecule and/or the active ingredient no longer operates as it should once inside the body.  

 

In this case, the carnitine by itself is a type of ammonium cation, having a positive charge, and the tartrate is an anion of tartaric acid, having a negative charge.   Also in this particular case, the carntine tartrate is very water soluble meaning that once you put the powder or tablet in water, the molecules split up into their respective ions, each going about its usual business.  Dry forms of carnitine are notoriously hygroscopic because of the ammonium and because water is a very polar molecule.

 

 

 

But fuck all that.  You say you have a problem with your CNS and liver - in this case, if you must go with just one, then the l-carnitine is the one you want to focus on.   L-carnitine is for your whole body, all systems.

 

The only reason to take acetylcarnitine is if you know for a fact that having more acetylcholine will assist your condition.  However this can get complicated because, for example, say if you need more choline for your liver function... ALCAR may not be awesome here because choline is not the same molecule as acetylcholine; they don't have the same jobs inside the body.  Your body uses choline for lots of different things - so what if you use acetylcarnitine to force your body to use more of its choline to synth acetylcholine when it needs that choline for other things (such as part of your methylation cycle)...?  

 

I can't tell you not to take ALCAR.  Obviously it has some application in mitochondrial problems and you already know that you have a specific condition which means I assume you are under some kind of medical supervision.  If your doctor thinks you should take ALCAR, or at least knows that you are taking it and does not object, then take it.

 

But we all have a fair idea that taking near 6 grams of carnitine, no matter what form, is too much in one day.  Especially if you are not a vegetarian or vegan (meaning that you are ingesting foods that naturally contain more easily-absorbed carnitine).

 

Have you tried to take 1.5 grams of each in the same day for a few weeks?

 

 

I don't expect they should interact much, or interfere with each other much.  One is ordinary l-carnitine, and the other is l-carnitine attached to an acetyl group.

 

I don't see any particular reason why they shouldn't be taken at the same time (both are best taken with water on an otherwise empty stomach) unless someone is taking large doses of them - in which case, this might simply be about slamming the body with a huge amount of carnitine all at once.

 

Swanson's is one of the more trustworthy manufacturers out there, but keep in mind that that's only relative to the others.  The dietary supplement industry has a very ugly underbelly and I've seen Swanson's do a few things over the years that has angered me.  You cannot go by their word alone.


Edited by Duchykins, 18 March 2017 - 11:50 PM.


#6 Kabb

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:49 PM

I think I will stick with l-carnitine.  Perhaps I will add in some ALCAR from time to time as it seems to provide occasional benefit and, from what I am discussing with you, the additional ALCAR should not interfere with what benefits the l-carnitine is giving me.

 

I get good results with 2 to 3 grams a day but even better results with 4 to 5 grams a day.  You will say these are high doses and lead me to wonder if I have a secondary carnitine deficiency. In pediatric medicine they may treat a secondary carnitine deficiency (caused by another illness) with 50 to 600 milligrams/kg/day of oral l-carnitine such as Carnitor brand and perhaps would use similar amounts for adults.  My apparently high dose is actually at the lower end of this range!

 

I suspect one of the toxins which gives me trouble is ammonia and this manifests itself in me as cognitive confusion and truly extreme fogginess plus marked lack of hand co-ordination and massive fragmentation of coherent thinking.  When I get hit, I can't use a mouse and, for weeks and months, couldn't write a post like this. 

  • (a) Perhaps the ALCAR has been entering my CNS and is helping to counter the dysfunction which ammonia is causing. 
  • (b) However I imagine the source of raised ammonia would be the liver which means that l-carnitine may be helping the liver function better and not produce so much ammonia.

 

My interest in l-carnitine l-tartrate is in case  my source of Swanson l-carnitine dries up.  I am in the UK and Swanson is not a big brand here which means  I am reliant on one importer.  Other brands of l-carnitine are significantly more expensive here, so a substitute type of carnitine may one day be necessary.  Carnitine is quite important to me because I get VERY ill after as little as one or two days without carnitine, so I can't wait until I have run out of l-carnitine to see what other formulations will work.  When i get myself stable, I may try switching from l-carnitine to l-carnitine l-tartrate to see what the effects are.

 

---------

 

By the way, I wonder what else you saw Swanson screw up?  In recent months I saw Swanson change the formulation of their own brand CoQ10 Ubiquinol which I found used to be effective but is now poor.  I imagine Swanson started using Chinese sourced ubiquinol because some Chinese manufacturers won a round in a long patent battle with the original producer of ubiquinol, Kaneka.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Kabb, 19 March 2017 - 12:53 PM.

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#7 Duchykins

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:49 PM

 

 

 

By the way, I wonder what else you saw Swanson screw up?  In recent months I saw Swanson change the formulation of their own brand CoQ10 Ubiquinol which I found used to be effective but is now poor.  I imagine Swanson started using Chinese sourced ubiquinol because some Chinese manufacturers won a round in a long patent battle with the original producer of ubiquinol, Kaneka.

 

I used to get magnesium malate from Swanson's.  At the time, they had formulated it so I would be using two caps a day to get 400 mg magnesium and about 1 gram of malic acid.  The bottle was 60 caps, so it was a perfect one-month supply

 

Then one day they increased the amount of filler than was in each capsule, so that you had to take three caps to get the same dosage.  But they did not increase the number of caps per bottle to 90 to make up for it.  They kept the bottle at 60 caps and more importantly, they kept the price the same.  You were now paying more for less magnesium malate, and would have to buy two bottles of 60 to meet monthly requirements.  

 

I called and asked why they did this and got no intelligible answer.   I started getting the mag malate from Jarrow but had to stop taking it because it had excess taurine in it (I supplement taurine but I regulate it for every other day at about 500 mg doses - I'm sensitive to sulfur-based supplements and high sulfur foods like cruciferous vegetables).   Swanson's recently stopped manufacturing mag malate.

 

Now I take citrulline malate from Powder City and get an Albion TRS magnesium from Swanson's

 

Swanson's had been growing as a company and is now starting to behave like the bigger companies out there.  They are losing their integrity and values as a small business with idealistic goals.

 

Another thing that pissed me off is whatever's going on with their Aura Cacia essential oils.  Aura Cacia has the highest quality EOs on the market and are the most trustworthy manufacturers of pure EOs - this is a rare thing in an industry with virtually no regulation to speak of, and plenty of unethical manufacturers of fake EOs.  And because their EOs are genuine, some of them are extremely expensive for small amounts - this is because of the complicated process of getting the fluids from their natural sources, you need a LOT of raw material to produce just a tiny little bottle of pure EO.  Aura Cacia's prices are quite reasonable for these particularly difficult-to-acquire EOs.

 

Swanson's sells many of Aura Cacia's EOs at prices that are often half the price of getting them directly from the manufacturer.  This makes no sense whatsoever if the EOs are as high-quality as those purchased directly from Aura Cacia.  I cannot believe that Swanson could be selling these Aura Cacia products untampered with - or, what I really suspect, they are selling Aura Cacia EOs that are old enough to be rancid or about to go rancid, or are perhaps factory rejects for whatever reason.  A recent purchase of Swanson's Aura Cacia sandalwood smelled more like urine than the sandalwood I previously got from Aura Cacia directly.

 

But they still have very good supplements you can't find anywhere else for a reasonable price - things like their active B complex (most of the active B complexes on the market have folic acid instead of folate, and are very gimmicky about their near-useless dosages), their sublingual adenosylcobalamin, panthetine caps, low-dose iron-free low-copper Albion multi-mineral, CoQ10 (as ubidecarenone) with full spectrum tocotrienols, and standardized butterbur extract, low dose pregnenolone.  And they have excellent customer service.


Edited by Duchykins, 19 March 2017 - 06:15 PM.

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#8 Kabb

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:36 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply.  You mentioned "Albion TRS magnesium" from Swanson.  I take the similar product "Swanson Albion Chelated Magnesium Glycinate".  Both these Swanson Albion products uses "buffered" Albion magnesium.  I read some posts here on Longecity that this Albion "buffered" glycinate is actually padded out by Albion with magnesium oxide.

 

I wrote to Albion asking for a percentage breakdown of glycinate versus oxide in this buffered product but Albion had been taken over by another company and someone new replied and they were very cagey and gave nothing away.

 

This is what I read here:

http://www.longecity...ndpost&p=707932

http://www.longecity...ndpost&p=716738

http://www.longecity...ndpost&p=725139

 

------

 

As far as I know from reading my Swanson labels, all Swanson B complexes use folic acid and they all use the maximum dose of 400mcg which is annoying when I want to take multiple B complex capsules a day.  I have to use Solgar's standalone methylfolate (Metafolin) which is extremely good.  Swanson offer a standalone Quatrafolic but it makes me drowsy and I find it is not as effective as Metafolin .

 

-----

 

By the way, just to clarify something .... is ALCAR poorly absorbed by other parts of the body than the CNS/brain ?  I'm not sure I properly understand that point in your posts.

 

 


Edited by Kabb, 19 March 2017 - 10:38 PM.


#9 Duchykins

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:13 AM

http://mthfr.net/l-m...thf/2012/04/05/

 

 

This is the B complex I always get from Swanson's has 400 mcg Quatrefolic which is just another new patented fancy, almost gimmicky, form of methylfolate (aka levomefolic acid, aka (6S)-5-MTHF) like Metafolin. 

 

 

https://www.swansonv...ity-60-veg-caps

 

 

They have another of the same combination except that each capsule contains double the dose.   

 

Swanson's calls it "activated" instead of "active" and their website's internal search engine is not very smart, so if you search "active B complex" on Swanson's website, their own brand usually doesn't show up on the results list.  So that's their fault, not yours.

 

 

https://www.swansonv...ity-60-veg-caps

 

 

Since 800 mcg of Quatrefolic is too much for me all in one dose, I like the first one.

 

 

I have no knowledge about ALCAR's bioavailability, except that it gets to the brain very well.  You'll have to ask someone else about that.


Edited by Duchykins, 20 March 2017 - 12:45 AM.


#10 Duchykins

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:29 AM

I should also probably mention that I also take an additional 400 mg thiamine, 400 mg riboflavin, 300 mg pantethine, 1 mg adenosylcobalamin, 1 mg hydroxocobalamin (they're 50/50 in a 2 mg sublingual tablet) daily as separate supps.  There's never enough riboflavin or thiamine in any B complex for me.  And 5 mg biotin cap every third day or so (Swanson's stopped making the 1 mg biotin caps which also pissed me off). 



#11 Heisok

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:50 AM

Kabb, I do not know if this is the type of information you were looking for.

 

 

"Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered"

The low bioavailability of Mg oxide can be improved by reducing the pH at the absorptive surface of the intestine, thereby enhancing passive uptake via the paracellular pathway by stimulating Claudin upregulation. The glycine in Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate is a powerful buffer that slows the rate of increase of small intestinal luminal pH. Hence a combination of both these magnesium sources offers distinct advantages.

Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered delivers 18mg of elemental Mg/100mg of the product. Per 100mg of the product, it contributes 8.9mg of magnesium that is chelated with 55mg glycine– enough to improve solubility and buffer the remaining Mg as oxide to optimize paracellular transport. Significantly more than half the product by weight is magnesium bisglycinate chelate – hence the name Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered."

 

http://www.albionmin...ium-white-paper



#12 Kabb

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:02 AM



Kabb, I do not know if this is the type of information you were looking for.

 

 

"Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered"

The low bioavailability of Mg oxide can be improved by reducing the pH at the absorptive surface of the intestine, thereby enhancing passive uptake via the paracellular pathway by stimulating Claudin upregulation. The glycine in Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate is a powerful buffer that slows the rate of increase of small intestinal luminal pH. Hence a combination of both these magnesium sources offers distinct advantages.

Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered delivers 18mg of elemental Mg/100mg of the product. Per 100mg of the product, it contributes 8.9mg of magnesium that is chelated with 55mg glycine– enough to improve solubility and buffer the remaining Mg as oxide to optimize paracellular transport. Significantly more than half the product by weight is magnesium bisglycinate chelate – hence the name Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate Buffered."

 

http://www.albionmin...ium-white-paper

 

 

That's interesting.  Albion seem to be saying there is a synergy from mixing magnesium glycinate with magnesium oxide.  They also seem to be saying that the glycinate "buffers" the oxide and not the other way around as I had assumed.  

 

I'm still not clear enough in my understanding of that info to know if they are trying to blind the reader with science because, if this mixed magnesium glycinate/oxide version is so good then why does Albion also sell pure gylcinate?  Doctor's Best makes a point of stating that their chelated magnesium (made from Albion's magnesium glycinate) is *not* buffered as this quote shows.

 

What does "not buffered" mean that is found on the High Absorption Magnesium?


Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium contains 2000mg of magnesium glycinate/lysinate chelate per serving. Each serving provides 200mg of elemental magnesium. This product is not buffered, which means that no additional elemental magnesium is added to increase the elemental value. It is a common practice in the industry to buffer magnesium with poorly absorbable forms such as magnesium oxide. This would result in an overall lower level of bioavailability even if the milligram amount of elemental magnesium was higher.  

 

http://www.drbvitami...h.ruSBedKZ.dpuf



#13 Kabb

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:22 PM

I should also probably mention that I also take an additional 400 mg thiamine, 400 mg riboflavin, 300 mg pantethine, 1 mg adenosylcobalamin, 1 mg hydroxocobalamin (they're 50/50 in a 2 mg sublingual tablet) daily as separate supps.  There's never enough riboflavin or thiamine in any B complex for me.  And 5 mg biotin cap every third day or so (Swanson's stopped making the 1 mg biotin caps which also pissed me off). 

 

 

Hello Dutchykins.  Thanks for your posts.
 
You're right about folic acid and folate. I had forgotten about the activated versions of Swanson's B complexes
 
You seem to be taking specifically a mito-boosting mix of supplements.  You may be interested in clinical recommendations on supplements for mito disease such as Table 2 on page 18 in "A Modern Approach to the Treatment of Mitochondrial Disease" in this link although different docs emphasise different supplements.  https://www.ncbi.nlm...nihms162564.pdf .
 
I too take additional standalone B vitamins, often in very high doses with a similar mix to the ones you mention.  I find high dose methylfolate is good too.  Perhaps I should replace my B complexes with their individual ingredients.
 
I also take 1000mcg B12 as methylcobalamin three times a day.  Sometimes I might take 500mcg cyanocobalamin because I recall reading it was not as crap as is widely thought.  How well do you find your combined adenosyl and hydroxo variants work for you?  They are pricey especially because I would take 2 or 3 doses a day  (B12 is not known to help with mito problems but nevertheless I find it does something useful within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it.  I know there's a whole world of folks such as those at Phoenix Rising who are taking B12 and folate variants as part of a  methylation strategy which I have never managed to understand.)


#14 Duchykins

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:15 PM

 

I should also probably mention that I also take an additional 400 mg thiamine, 400 mg riboflavin, 300 mg pantethine, 1 mg adenosylcobalamin, 1 mg hydroxocobalamin (they're 50/50 in a 2 mg sublingual tablet) daily as separate supps.  There's never enough riboflavin or thiamine in any B complex for me.  And 5 mg biotin cap every third day or so (Swanson's stopped making the 1 mg biotin caps which also pissed me off). 

 

 

Hello Dutchykins.  Thanks for your posts.
 
You're right about folic acid and folate. I had forgotten about the activated versions of Swanson's B complexes
 
You seem to be taking specifically a mito-boosting mix of supplements.  You may be interested in clinical recommendations on supplements for mito disease such as Table 2 on page 18 in "A Modern Approach to the Treatment of Mitochondrial Disease" in this link although different docs emphasise different supplements.  https://www.ncbi.nlm...nihms162564.pdf .
 
I too take additional standalone B vitamins, often in very high doses with a similar mix to the ones you mention.  I find high dose methylfolate is good too.  Perhaps I should replace my B complexes with their individual ingredients.
 
I also take 1000mcg B12 as methylcobalamin three times a day.  Sometimes I might take 500mcg cyanocobalamin because I recall reading it was not as crap as is widely thought.  How well do you find your combined adenosyl and hydroxo variants work for you?  They are pricey especially because I would take 2 or 3 doses a day  (B12 is not known to help with mito problems but nevertheless I find it does something useful within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it.  I know there's a whole world of folks such as those at Phoenix Rising who are taking B12 and folate variants as part of a  methylation strategy which I have never managed to understand.)

 

 

Aye, as I mentioned before, I take a lot of mitochondrial support supps for migraine prophylaxis.  Other problems too, but migraines are what set me on this path and are still the primary goal.

 

I also take 1 gram creatine (micronized), 1 gram l-carnosine, 500 mg lysine every second day, a high-DPA high-DHA low-EPA fish oil every third day, 200 mcg ChromeMate (niacin-bound chromium), low-dose lithium every third day, and modest doses of the fat-soluble vitamins.  Then some ginger, lion's mane, artichoke extract and forskolin.  And Zrytec and 10 mg memantine.

 

Migraine does involve some kind of mitochondrial dysfunction (low cell energy is a strong trigger for the excitotoxic cascade because it can cause a nasty feedback loop with extracellular glutamate and calcium ions) and this is why double-blind placebo-controlled studies have found that high dose riboflavin has some prophylactic efficacy especially in migraine without aura (aka common migraine; migraine with aura is called classic migraine).  I get two kinds of headache; common migraine and cluster headache.  The clusters are rarer but can be the worst and last much longer (longest one I had was 8 days but this was way back in the early years before I began learning and altering my lifestyle).    Migraine also involves glutamatergic and dopaminergic dysfunction, but both of those seem to tie back into mitochondrial dysfunction.  There are still a lot of unknowns about migraine.

 

 

 

My initial experimentation with methyl donors led me to a scary potassium crash.  I fixed that but I was very irritable on the methyl supps, similar to the way citrate compounds bother me (such as 400 mg magnesium, calcium or potassium citrates).

 

High doses (1 mg) of methylcobalamin bother me.  As do high doses of methylfolate, big time.  As does TMG and SAMe.  Sometimes curcumin.  But 300 mg CoQ10 does not bother me, nor 250 mg doses of theanine (x 2 day), nor 1 gram l-carnitine, nor 0.5 mg melatonin (which I don't take regularly).

 

I like to rely on fresh baby spinach for extra folate and potassium, rather than taking a higher dose B complex, but that's probably just because I literally love to eat spinach by the handful out of the bag... even get intense cravings for the stuff if I go more than a few days without it.  But doing it that way is trickier since the spinach starts losing its folate content the longer it's in the fridge (and including the time from cutting to washing to bagging and transporting to the store).  Luckily I live in California's "salad bowl" county.

 

 

Adenosylcobalamin works wonders for me.  The hydroxocobalamin is just there for the hell of it - it's the inactive cobalamin that bacteria produces via fermentation (for example, this is the form of cobalamin foregut fermenters get from the bacterial fermentation colonies in their stomachs - which they then have to convert to adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin and distribute throughout the body).  I take the 50/50 because it's merely the cheapest 1 mg adenosylcobalamin I could get my hands on.

 

Cyanocobalamin is usually bacteria-fermented hydroxocobalamin passed through a cyanide compound to create something that is very shelf-stable and cheap.  It's proven effective at treating clinical cobalamin deficiency but yes, it's also slightly more useless/difficult for the body to utilize as it not only has to convert it to the bioactive forms, it must first use time and resources to remove the cyano group from the cobalamin molecule, neutralize the cyano group, and dispose of it.  Since all of this is a more complicated, multi-step process, some people will not find cyanocobalamin as effective as others, and some may even react badly to it.  Everyone has unique biochemistry and ever-so-subtle mutations that can come into play here.

 

Last time I checked in the medical community, only America uses cyanocobalamin in B12 shots by default, going to the hydroxocobalamin if the doctor feels like it.  Most other countries use hydroxocobalamin by default.  Things could have changed since then but I haven't bothered to look.

 

It's important to note that both bioactive forms of cobalamin (adenosyl and methyl) are needed for different jobs in the body, and that methylcobalamin is overly popular in the general public for no good reason (industry advertisements, mostly, all this fuss over MTHFR).    Your body can make methylcobalamin from adenosylcobalamin but not vice versa (if I remember correctly).

 

 

 

After running my and my daughter's DNA through 23andme (we did this after my daughter's referral to Stanford Pediatric Genetics dept), things started to make a lot more sense.  

 

I was later able to use several of those little gene tools to identify where I was going wrong with some of my supplements, and now have reached a place where I longer feel compelled to continue searching and tweaking my supplement regimen.  I like what's been going on over the past year and a half since the last tweaks to my regimen.

 

 

 

I'm not too sure about the Phoenix Rising forums since there is a lot of silly information on the internet about methylation mixed up with the useful information.  

 

Sometimes there is someone in a thread that is reasonable and armed with the proper information.  But sometimes the other kind of people are in a thread that are just generally irrational and parroting pop culture rumors and bullshit they read from dubious health gurus or supplement manufacturers.  All claims must be checked against medical literature or other reliable sources.


Edited by Duchykins, 20 March 2017 - 06:28 PM.


#15 William Sterog

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:26 AM

I think I will stick with l-carnitine.  Perhaps I will add in some ALCAR from time to time as it seems to provide occasional benefit and, from what I am discussing with you, the additional ALCAR should not interfere with what benefits the l-carnitine is giving me.

 

I get good results with 2 to 3 grams a day but even better results with 4 to 5 grams a day.  You will say these are high doses and lead me to wonder if I have a secondary carnitine deficiency. In pediatric medicine they may treat a secondary carnitine deficiency (caused by another illness) with 50 to 600 milligrams/kg/day of oral l-carnitine such as Carnitor brand and perhaps would use similar amounts for adults.  My apparently high dose is actually at the lower end of this range!

 

I suspect one of the toxins which gives me trouble is ammonia and this manifests itself in me as cognitive confusion and truly extreme fogginess plus marked lack of hand co-ordination and massive fragmentation of coherent thinking.  When I get hit, I can't use a mouse and, for weeks and months, couldn't write a post like this. 

  • (a) Perhaps the ALCAR has been entering my CNS and is helping to counter the dysfunction which ammonia is causing. 
  • (b) However I imagine the source of raised ammonia would be the liver which means that l-carnitine may be helping the liver function better and not produce so much ammonia.

 

My interest in l-carnitine l-tartrate is in case  my source of Swanson l-carnitine dries up.  I am in the UK and Swanson is not a big brand here which means  I am reliant on one importer.  Other brands of l-carnitine are significantly more expensive here, so a substitute type of carnitine may one day be necessary.  Carnitine is quite important to me because I get VERY ill after as little as one or two days without carnitine, so I can't wait until I have run out of l-carnitine to see what other formulations will work.  When i get myself stable, I may try switching from l-carnitine to l-carnitine l-tartrate to see what the effects are.

 

---------

 

By the way, I wonder what else you saw Swanson screw up?  In recent months I saw Swanson change the formulation of their own brand CoQ10 Ubiquinol which I found used to be effective but is now poor.  I imagine Swanson started using Chinese sourced ubiquinol because some Chinese manufacturers won a round in a long patent battle with the original producer of ubiquinol, Kaneka.

 

If your problem is really ammonia, you should give a try to Citrulline:

 

Activity of citrulline malate on acid-base balance and blood ammonia and amino acid levels. Study in the animal and in man.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.../pubmed/1930358



#16 gamesguru

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:23 PM

I remember a professor saying another nail in the coffin of meat-eating had recently been published (but is there even much carnitine in meat?)  This is a brain health forum, right, if so there are also other reasons to prefer ALCAR.  That professor was full of insights: snow tires, entitlement of authorities, you name it

 

I think ALCAR is absorbed worse by the body, yes.  But you get carnitine from your diet anyways.  I've dabbled ALCAR, but I wouldn't start a regimen of either.  Not without a good reason.  Good to keep some aces up your sleeve, some rabbits in your hat.. for when you're old.  I'm 24

 

Generally overmethylation is explained by too much histamine.  Histamine in turn is highly acetyl-dependent.. acetylcholine releases histamine and histamine inhibits ACh receptors thus forming a sort of feedback loop.  So it doesn't surprise me to find both.  If the ALCAR makes you even more sensitive to the methyl supps, I would cut one out.  Though I did find one study to support the use of both

J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Sep;7(5):777-85. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12493. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine and methylcobalamin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

Li S1Chen X2Li Q1

 

AIMS/INTRODUCTION:

To assess the efficacy and safety of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) on diabetic peripheral neuropathy compared with methylcobalamin (MC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This was a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, double-dummy, positive-controlled, non-inferior phase II clinical trial. Diabetic patients with abnormal nerve conduction test results were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive oral ALC 500 mg t.i.d. or MC 0.5 mg t.i.d. for 24 weeks. The neuropathy symptom score, neuropathy disability score and neurophysiological parameters were measured during follow up.

RESULTS:

A total of 232 patients were randomized (ALC n = 117, MC n = 115), 88% of which completed the trial. At week 24, patients from both groups had significant reductions in both neuropathy symptom score and neuropathy disability score with no significant difference between two groups (neuropathy symptom score reduction: ALC vs MC 2.35 ± 2.23, P < 0.0001 vs 2.11 ± 2.48, P < 0.0001, intergroup P = 0.38; neuropathy disability score reduction ALC vs MC 1.66 ± 1.90, P < 0.0001 vs 1.35 ± 1.65, P < 0.0001, intergroup P = 0.23). Neurophysiological parameters were also improved in both groups. No significant difference was found between groups in the development of adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS:

ALC is as effective as MC in improving clinical symptoms and neurophysiological parameters for patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy over a 24-week period with good tolerance.



#17 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

 

I'm sensitive to sulfur-based supplements and high sulfur foods like cruciferous vegetables

 

How do you know you are sensitive, how does your sensitivity show?
 



#18 Kabb

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:44 PM

Hello Duchykins, that's an extremely interesting regimen.  I too take all the B vitamins (plus a choline supplement).  I think they sometimes get overlooked but are extremely valuable.

 

I take my biotin more frequently and try to dose it with my other B vitamins about 3 times a day.  I find no B vitamins have a long lasting effect on me of 12 hours or more. 

 

I think it is said B12 accumulates and also releases over many months but I have never found this to be the case.  I will certainly try that Swanson adenosyl+hydroxo supplement.  Thanks for the info on B12.  I can no  longer follow all the new thinking on B12 and the subsequent contradictions.  I think if someone has a damaged B12 pathway (for genetic or other reasons) then some of the normal metabolic considerations don't apply.  This is true for folate and MTHFR and it seems to me that B12 metabolism is more complicated still than for folate.

 

I don't see many anti-oxidants in your regimen.  I find they are enormously useful.  Not just alpha lipoic acid  and NAC but also vitamin C and E each give me a massive improvement.  Of course there are the usual caveats about excessive antioxidants being counter productive, so I don't take huge doses.  Some other antioxidants also help me a lot such as pterostilbene, pomegranate juice, quercetin and many others.

 

I think my ubiquinol is also helping me as a mitochondrial antioxidant as much as replenishing CoQ10.  In fact I wonder if I have a variant NPO-1 gene (which is said to occur in 4% of Caucasians) that significantly constrains the conversion between ubiquinol and ubiquinone meaning that you need to take ubiquinol rather than ubiquinone.

 

I think you're taking a great approach to address your symptoms.  I have the impression it's been hard for your to manage the symptoms.  If I was in your position I would consider if the migraine might be a secondary symptom of some other more significant primary problem.  I started with headaches and, to cut a very long story short and not dwell on my brain scans and spinal taps, I ended up discovering a inherited metabolic disease which eventually expressed itself in vastly nastier neurological symptoms which can be fatal in some cases.

 

I am very intrigued by your MEMANTINE.  I got prescribed a load of that when my symptoms were diagnosed as dementia but never found a "quiet" enough time to try it especially as it has a long half life and take some weeks to adapt to.  I presume you use it to quell excessive NMDA activity.  Do you find it works?  Have you got any tips about taking it as I think i should go back and try it some time soon?

 

I once tried Campral for the same purpose of quelling NMDA but it didn't seem to do much for me.

 

Thanks once again for your very useful post.


Edited by Kabb, 24 March 2017 - 10:44 PM.


#19 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 03:11 PM

Is there a way to de-acetylate alcar so it loses the acetyl group?



#20 Duchykins

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 06:54 AM

 

 

I'm sensitive to sulfur-based supplements and high sulfur foods like cruciferous vegetables

 

How do you know you are sensitive, how does your sensitivity show?
 

 

 

Irritability, fatigue, mild headache sometimes, and the vague impression that I need to take an antihistamine, stuff like that.  The taurine was what made me realize it, and then when I ran my 23andme results through some of the fun little tools like NutraHacker, I found out why



#21 kurdishfella

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Posted 16 April 2022 - 07:14 PM

regulat carnitine and injected form is more effective cause the body can't break the oral form of alcar down completely

#22 kurdishfella

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:03 PM

I think ALCAR directly turns into acetylcholine and among other things. Were as l carnitine has to take various other steps and needs to combine with other things. ALCAR just needs choline. SO alcar + choline = aplha gpc 


Edited by kurdishfella, 10 May 2022 - 09:05 PM.


#23 Alain

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Posted 27 June 2022 - 02:49 PM

I think I will stick with l-carnitine. Perhaps I will add in some ALCAR from time to time as it seems to provide occasional benefit and, from what I am discussing with you, the additional ALCAR should not interfere with what benefits the l-carnitine is giving me.

I get good results with 2 to 3 grams a day but even better results with 4 to 5 grams a day. You will say these are high doses and lead me to wonder if I have a secondary carnitine deficiency. In pediatric medicine they may treat a secondary carnitine deficiency (caused by another illness) with 50 to 600 milligrams/kg/day of oral l-carnitine such as Carnitor brand and perhaps would use similar amounts for adults. My apparently high dose is actually at the lower end of this range!

I suspect one of the toxins which gives me trouble is ammonia and this manifests itself in me as cognitive confusion and truly extreme fogginess plus marked lack of hand co-ordination and massive fragmentation of coherent thinking. When I get hit, I can't use a mouse and, for weeks and months, couldn't write a post like this.

  • (a) Perhaps the ALCAR has been entering my CNS and is helping to counter the dysfunction which ammonia is causing.
  • (b) However I imagine the source of raised ammonia would be the liver which means that l-carnitine may be helping the liver function better and not produce so much ammonia.

My interest in l-carnitine l-tartrate is in case my source of Swanson l-carnitine dries up. I am in the UK and Swanson is not a big brand here which means I am reliant on one importer. Other brands of l-carnitine are significantly more expensive here, so a substitute type of carnitine may one day be necessary. Carnitine is quite important to me because I get VERY ill after as little as one or two days without carnitine, so I can't wait until I have run out of l-carnitine to see what other formulations will work. When i get myself stable, I may try switching from l-carnitine to l-carnitine l-tartrate to see what the effects are.

---------

By the way, I wonder what else you saw Swanson screw up? In recent months I saw Swanson change the formulation of their own brand CoQ10 Ubiquinol which I found used to be effective but is now poor. I imagine Swanson started using Chinese sourced ubiquinol because some Chinese manufacturers won a round in a long patent battle with the original producer of ubiquinol, Kaneka.


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#24 Alain

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Posted 27 June 2022 - 02:52 PM

Hi,
You Can try carnitine with Sunday Natural. They have good product.
I buy l-carnitine and Alcar on their site and others additionnal products.
Thanks for your comments





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