Burning and numbness in your hands or feet may be due to peripheral neuropathy. We often suggest Acetyl L-Carnitine (sometimes called ALCAR)  for people suffering peripheral neuropathy.

First we determine  the best course of treatment to improve how you feel and get you back to a more normal life. We  start with a thorough history and neurological exam to determine possible causes for your neuropathy. As part of suggested treatment, nutrition is one of the important aspects we use to help you. Nutrition for healing neuropathic nerves often includes  Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Here is some information about what this nutritional supplement does and how it may help peripheral neuropathy.

What Is The Role Of Acetyl-L-Carnitine In Your Body?

  • It tells your body to burn fat for fuel
  • Helps make acetylcholine—a primary neurotransmitter in the brain.
  • Helps produce energy
  • It is important for heartand brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.

 What is the Difference Between L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine?

From Swanson Vitamins and Supplements FAQsAcetyl L-Carnitine is the preferred form of Carnitine for brain and nerve support. Why? Because it  crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily. Even though it’s OK to take both forms, it may not be necessary. Why? Because Acetyl-L-Carnitine actually does everything that regular L-Carnitine does,  and supports cognitive functioning while regular L-Carnitine does not.

It is recommended to take the Acetyl L-Carnitine in the morning when you want your brain to be active.

What conditions can Acetyl-L-Carnitine help?

From webMD: ACETYL-L-CARNITINE  Overview Information:

Some people take acetyl-L-carnitine by mouth for a variety of mental disorders. These include Alzheimer’s disease, age-related memory loss, depression, thinking problems related to alcoholism, thinking problems related to Lyme disease, and thinking problems related to very poor liver function (hepatic encephalopathy).

It is also used for Down syndrome, bipolar disorder, poor circulation in the brain after a stroke, cataracts, nerve pain due to diabetes, nerve pain due to drugs used in the treatment of AIDS or cancer, nerve pain caused by sciatica, fibromyalgia, and facial paralysis, and for withdrawal from alcohol.

Acetyl-L-carnitine is used for tiredness related to getting older. It is also taken by mouth and used for aging skin.

Reducing nerve pain (neuropathy) caused by diabetes: Taking acetyl-L-carnitine seems to improve symptoms in people with nerve pain caused by diabetes. Acetyl-L-carnitine seems to work best in people who have not had diabetes for a long time and for  those who have poorly controlled diabetes. Doses of 1000 mg taken two or three times daily seems to work better than doses of 500 mg three times daily.

What foods are high in Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

From: Livestrong.Com: Our body produces some Carnitine. It is also found in abundance in natural food sources like red meat, nuts, grains, green vegetables, and dairy products. In the absence of carnitine, our body becomes unable to use fat as a fuel. This results in obesity. It might also lead to enlarged liver, slowed growth and repair, and muscle weakness. That is why we say, carnitine is important in our body.


While Acetyl-L –carnitine may help neuropathic nerves, it is not good for everyone. People who take thyroid medication should not take acetyl-L-carnitine. When considering taking a supplement on your own be careful. Check on line at WebMD or drugs.com or with your pharmacist to make sure that the supplement is safe to take with your medications.

Here at Neuropathy North Shore we check the supplements we suggest for our neuropathy patients with their medication list. We make sure that the high quality supplements we give our patients are safe for them.

If you would like help with your neuropathy treatments, please give us a call at 978-535-6155 and ask for the free initial neuropathy analysis. Dr. Ellen will discuss your condition, answer some of your questions and let you know if she thinks she can help your condition or give you information for you to help yourself.