Fibromyalgia and L-Carnitine, A Natural Cure For Fibro Fog.

This is a great article on a natural cure for Fibromyalgia Brain Fog. I have personally used L-Carnitine and I can say it does work for fibro fog. It also helps with fatigue. A real plus. Excellent product from ProHealth. The article was written by Karen Lee Richards. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. -April

Breaking Through the Mental Fog

By Karen Lee Richards* Prohealth.com

Does your brain ever feel like it’s mired in a thick fog? Have difficulty concentrating? Poor memory? These symptoms may point to an L-Carnitine deficiency.

L-Carnitine is a vital amino acid which promotes healthy neural levels of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter that aids memory and proper brain function. Research suggests that an L-Carnitine deficiency may be implicated in a number of conditions, including ME/CFS (‘chronic fatigue syndrome’), diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism.

The Role of L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is produced in the liver and kidneys from two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. It can be found in nearly every cell in the body and is necessary for the proper metabolism of fat.

In addition to helping sharpen mental focus and concentration, L-carnitine plays a key role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane so that they can be burned to produce energy.

Who Needs L-Carnitine?

The average healthy individual does not need to supplement L-Carnitine because the body makes most of what is needed and the rest is provided by a well-balanced diet. The highest concentrations of L-carnitine are found in red meats. Generally speaking, the redder the meat, the more L-carnitine it contains. Smaller amounts can be found in poultry and dairy products. However:

  • Because vegans do not eat any animal-derived foods, they may need to supplement L-Carnitine.
  • Some people’s bodies, for genetic or medical reasons, are not able to produce adequate amounts of L-Carnitine and they may need to take an L-Carnitine supplement.
  • People with certain conditions, like ME/CFS, mitochondrial disorders and diabetes, are frequently found to be deficient in L-Carnitine.
  • L-Carnitine levels are also known to decrease with age and may contribute to the cognitive difficulties found in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Which Form of L-Carnitine is Best?

L-Carnitine comes in several different forms, but the acetylated form – known as Acetyl-L-Carnitine – is best for supporting healthy mental and cognitive function while also promoting the generation of energy.

Acetyl-L-carnitine crosses the blood-brain barrier more readily than other forms of L-carnitine. The fact that the acetylation of L-carnitine is a normal event in the human brain may explain why greater activity is found in the brain when using Acetyl-L-Carnitine rather than other forms.

L-Carnitine’s Connection to ME/CFS

Several studies have looked at whether an L-Carnitine deficiency could contribute to ME/CFS symptoms, and at its use as a possible therapeutic option.

A 1998 study measured L-Carnitine levels in subjects from Japan and Sweden who had a number of different diseases. They found that ME/CFS patients from both countries were deficient in L-Carnitine, leading them to conclude that an L-Carnitine deficiency might be a characteristic abnormality in ME/CFS.(1)

In a 1997 study, 30 ME/CFS patients were included in a crossover trial comparing supplemental L-Carnitine and amantadine, a medication used to treat fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients. Each therapy was given for two months, with a two-week washout period between. In the L-Carnitine phase, patients took one gram (1,000 mg) of L-Carnitine three times a day.

In the amantadine phase, half of the patients had to quit taking the medication due to side effects. Those who completed the amantadine phase showed no improvement in their symptoms. However, in the L-Carnitine phase, the patients showed significant improvement, with all but one completing the phase. The greatest improvement took place between four and eight weeks of L-Carnitine supplementation.(2)

The most recent study, published in July 2011, analyzed blood samples of 44 ME/CFS patients and 49 healthy controls for L-Carnitine and concentrations of 35 individual essential acylcarnitine compounds in plasma. They found that the patients with ME/CFS exhibited significantly altered levels in eight of the concentrations, with some of the concentrations averaging 30% to 40% lower than controls. In conclusion, the researchers hypothesized that the administration of omega-3 fatty acids in combination with L-Carnitine would increase carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I activity and improve chronic fatigue syndrome symptomology.(3)

Overall, as medical nutrition pioneer Dr. Melvyn Werbach, MD, states in his classic Nutritional Strategies for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, “In CFS, serum carnitine levels appear to be a biochemical marker for both symptom severity and ability to function.”(4)

L-Carnitine and the Physical & Mental Fatigue of Aging

According to a 2007 study, L-Carnitine supplementation improved both energy levels and cognitive function in centenarians (people 100 years of age and older). A total of 66 individuals between the ages of 100 and 106 who reported fatigue after even slight physical activity were randomized to receive either 2 grams (2,000 mg) of L-Carnitine per day or a placebo for six months.

Compared with the placebo group, the group who took the L-Carnitine demonstrated a significant:

  • Reduction of fat mass.
  • Gain in total muscle mass.
  • Reduction in physical and mental fatigue.
  • Reduction of fatigue severity.
  • Improvement in cognitive function scores.
  • Improvement in walking capacity.
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About The Author

aprilb

This is a blog for all Fibromyalgia sufferers. I have fibromyalgia myself. I blog about my fibro health and life. The problems I have with Fibromyalgia and how I solve them. I write about therapies, medications and the life itself, as a disabled person who wants to be thought of as normal. I have two children, they both live at home with me. Both boys they are 22 and 18 years of age. I also have at home three dogs and two cats. Yes, sometimes it’s like a zoo around here. I live in California. I am surviving on Social Security Disability Insurance and marketing online. It has been slow going but I am making it work. I am no longer able to work outside the home because of the fibromyalgia. I used to be a Loan Officer for a large mortgage company. I also have a Real Estate license. I use to be a very busy person. The fibromyalgia has taken a lot out of me. As I am sure it has for you too. So I write for you, the hurting and disabled with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, and all the other symptoms we so boldly carry. My hope is that you’ll get some value out of this blog. Always feel as if you can comment on my views. I would love to hear some interaction from my readers. I have created the site to truly help people that are experiencing difficulty in their own lives with Fibromyalgia. Many people in America and all over the world are suffering from this disease. This site is dedicated to helping provide the most up to date information about living and coping with Fibromyalgia in your everyday life. I am not a doctor, nor am I licensed to give medical advice in any way. Any information you find on my blog is strictly an opinion and should not be taken as medical advice. You are responsible for any information you use from this site in your own life. Please talk with a licensed, medical professional before making any important decisions about your health or illness. Thank you. Sincerely, April Baldner (myfibrolife)