Acetyl L-Carnitine

I’d like to hear from MSers who take (or have taken) carnitine for fatigue.

My MS specialist suggested it, so I set out to buy some and try it. What a complex problem buying a dietary supplement is. It’s not FDA-approved for anything, so ingredients and dosages vary a lot from brand to brand. The doc just said “carnitine.” The Vitamin Shoppe clerk said it has to be Acetyl L-Carnitine. Some brands of that include Alpha Lipoic Acid; others don’t. The latter can be purchased separately. The truly interesting part of this is recommended dosage. Brand 1 (the one with Alpha Lipoic Acid) says take one 400 mg capsule 4 times daily. Brand 2 (without Alpha Lipoic Acid) says one 500 mg capsule daily. The one with Alpha Lipoic Acid says take preferably with meals. The one without says 1 capsule daily, preferably “between a meal.” I know that means they need an editor!

After a month of taking one 400 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine, containing 200 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid, I think I feel better, less fatigued and maybe more focused. How to know that’s not the placebo effect? I see the point of controlled studies — and of FDA regulation!

I’d appreciate comments and suggestions.

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