May 27, 2021
by Frederick Cheng, R.Ph., and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.
A “neurological disorder” is any disorder affecting the nervous system, and can vary from paralysis, seizures, dementia, changes in level of consciousness, confusion, to pain, loss of coordination, fatigue, and muscle weakness. The WHO estimates that up to 1 billion people suffer from these disorders worldwide. Stress, malnutrition, genetics, medications, and emotional and physical trauma can all lead to neurological dysfunction. Common integrative therapies include lifestyle modifications, pain management, physiotherapy, and dietary modifications, including supplementation with natural foods and products.
Carnitine is an amino-acid derivative that has garnered much interest lately. It has historically been available in the “L-Carnitine” form, but, recently, the more absorbable esterified form, “N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine” (or “NALC”) has become readily accessible.
NALC is not the same as L-Carnitine. NALC can cross the blood-brain barrier more readily, allowing for higher bioavailability and more cognitive benefits than conventional L-Carnitine. Both occur naturally in our bodies, and the two interconvert inside the body, and are involved with transporting long-chain fatty-acids into the mitochondria for converting fat into energy via “beta oxidation”. There is evidence that NALC can help with neuropathy (eg. in diabetics) by regenerating nerve fibres and clusters. NALC may decrease the rate of Alzheimer’s progression, and improve memory, other cognitive scores, and behaviour in dementia patients. Mental fatigue, mental acuity or sharpness, and depression can be improved with appropriate NALC doses in some individuals. There is even some indication that NALC can boost male fertility, as well as athletic performance, and there is ongoing research into its longterm benefits on the mental effects of alcoholism. Benefits are generally noted over extended use (eg. over several months).
Trustworthy sources of NALC capsules that are approved for use in Canada by Health Canada are Omega-Alpha’s “N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine”, and AOR’s “Alcar”. Both are highly absorbable, carry a low risk of side-effects and interactions, and are viable integrative options for treating neuropathic pain, cognitive decline, and neurological dysfunction. The dosing range varies greatly depending on your therapeutic goal, so definitely consult your physician or talk to one of the integrative pharmacists at Cloverdale Pharmasave or Pharmasave Steveston village to find out what will suit you best.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
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