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Acetyl-L-Carnitine May Be Important for Nerve Health in Diabetic Patients

Source: Diabetes Care, Vol. 28 No. 1

A review of two randomized, placebo-controlled trials indicates that Acetyl-L-Carnitine may improve pain and nerve regeneration in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy.

Researchers evaluated data from two, 52-week clinical diabetic neuropathy trials that tested two doses of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC): 500 mg and 1,000 mg per day. A total of 1,257 subjects were treated in the studies.

The data indicated there was significant improvement in nerve regeneration. Nerve conduction velocities and amplitudes did not improve, but vibration perception improved in both studies. Pain as the most bothersome symptom showed significant improvement in one study and in a subset of patients that consumed 1,000 mg ALC.

The reviewers concluded, “These studies demonstrate that ALC treatment is efficacious in alleviating symptoms, particularly pain, and improves nerve fiber regeneration and vibration perception in patients with established diabetic neuropathy.”

Sima AA, Calvani M, Mehra M, Amato A. Acetyl-L-Carnitine Improves Pain, Nerve Regeneration, and Vibratory Perception in Patients With Chronic Diabetic Neuropathy: An analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials. Diabetes Care. 2005 Jan;28(1):89-94.