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Acetyl-L-carnitine as support for mitochondria & nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

  [ 36 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 22, 2010

The Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) offers important information for HIV patients and others with challenged immune systems via its website ( and Treatment Update newsletter.

A link to a research report that CATIE published in 2004 on the supportive role of carnitine (from the Latin carne or meat) – and supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine - was recently posted on the ME-NET ME/FM/Lyme Digest listserv (

The article (“Nutrition: Long-term high-dose carnitine found to help heal damaged nerves”) explains that acetyl-L-carnitine may support threatened mitochondrial/nerve function, and lists various causes of neuropathy in the hands, legs and feet.

Drugs & the Mitochondria
Aside from nerve damage associated with diabetes, alcoholism, and viral infections such as HIV, the article notes that a number of drugs may lead to nerve damage by hindering mitochondrial energy production in the cells. These include antiviral “d” drugs prescribed to HIV patients, such as d4t (stavudine), ddl (didanosine) and ddC (zalcitabine); and “some anticancer drugs & antiobiotics.”

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