Acetyl-L-Carnitine deficiency linked to Depression
Recent research has linked low levels of Acetyl-L-Carnitine to depression.
In earlier studies, a deficiency of Acetyl-L-Carnitine was correlated with depressive type behaviour in rodents – and rapid and long-lasting anti-depressant like effects were noted in the rodent population after supplementation of Acetyl-L-Carnitine. This correlation led researchers to consider that Acetyl-L-Carnitine plays an important role in brain function.
Building on this previous data using rodents, researchers evaluated Acetyl-L-Carnitine levels in humans with major depressive disorder – MDD.
Surprisingly lower levels of Acetyl-L-Carnitine were evident in those with major depressive disorder. The lower the substance level, the more severe the depressive symptoms – and these participants were more treatment resistant, also having earlier symptom onset.
Treating major depressive disorder with Acetyl-L-Carnitine is still in question – currently it is not considered as a therapeutic for depressive symptoms. There are still questions to be answered – what is the mechanism of action? How much and how often should it be administered? Hopefully future studies may assist in finding individualized treatment for people whose depression has a biological basis.