Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an ester form of L-carnitine. Carnitine was discovered in 1905. It is synthesized, mainly in the liver and kidneys, from the essential amino acid lysine. Acetyl-l-Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized ("burned") to produce energy.
There are four common forms of carnitine supplements: L-Carnitine, ALCAR, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) and Propionyl-L-Carnitine (GPLC). L-Carnitine can be synthesized in the human body from two dietary essential amino acids, L-methionine, and lysine. This process involves a few Vitamin C-dependent enzymes, and deficiencies of Vitamin C can impair L-carnitine biosynthesis.
Personal Experience with ALCAR
Oh, I remember my first touch to the Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement. When I first tried ALCAR (for short and very often misspelled as lcarnitine) I didn’t know that it was actually a potent nootropic. I thought that it is just another weight loss supplement. And I clearly remember how focused and concentrated I was after my first dosage of 500 mg.
Since then Acetyl-L-Carnitine always has a spot on my shelf with supplements. But what makes this nootropic so powerful? Or maybe it just another marketing bullshit? The following supplement review about Acetyl-L-Carnitine is based on my own experience while experimenting with ALCAR.
To be supported by medical evidence this review is based on my own research using some of the most authoritative online and offline research resources for health and dietary supplements.
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What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine
So what exactly Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is? First ALCAR is converted into L-Carnitine. From here, the acetyl components break off and bind with Coenzyme A to create Acetyl-COA. The substance then combines with free-floating Choline and is catabolized by another enzymatic process to be converted into Acetylcholine.
It is considered as a strong brain-boosting nootropic and energy supplement because it is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, therefore it enters into the central nervous system. From there the coenzymed L-carnitine acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine.
This is a powerful brain chemical noted for its ability to influence a number of cognitive processes like learning capacity, memory formation, attention, concentration, recall, and focus.
What Is Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL Used For
Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL has been shown to be very effective at alleviating the side effects of aging, like neurological, decline and chronic fatigue. ALCAR supplementation is also a very safe method of improving insulin sensitivity and blood vessel health, particularly for people with delicate or weakened cardiac health.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL can also protect neurons and repair certain damage, such as that caused by diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. Theoretically, fat loss is typically attributed to the increased activity done by people, from the increased energy they have from ALCAR supplementation.
What Are the Health Benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC/ALCAR) is a naturally occurring amino acid in our body and supplementation with this will produce different mechanisms with effects hinting not just on the metabolism, but as well as on cardiovascular function and even alcohol addiction.
ALCAR is mainly metabolized in the kidneys and the liver and is carried out throughout the rest of the body especially in the brain and cardiac tissues, and there are fully utilized.
Being an amino acid involved in cellular metabolism, ALC exhibits enhancing mechanism on the power-generating capacity of the mitochondrial cell, and hence, responsible for the rushes of energy bouts leading to boosts in physical and cognitive stamina.
How ALCAR Uses Your Fats for Generating Energy
This mechanism is a direct result of fat mobilization. Instead of depositing adipose layers, ALCAR carries these fatty acids into the mitochondria where it is generated to become cellular fuel.
So as a substitute for fat build-up which contributes to general obesity, myocardial plaque buildup and increasing risks for tantamount of whole other disorders, the spare adipose is utilized into a much better plan.
Regarding cardiac function and vascular improvement, ALC proves to be superior in exerting its effects. As a super antioxidant, ALCAR protects the skeletal muscle and myocardial tissues from free radical damage through the reduction in lipid peroxidation.
Also, ALCAR has a strong impact on peripheral vascular occlusive diseases like in intermittent claudication, a disorder characterized by severe leg pain.
What Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Do
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been shown to improve health across many bodily systems. L-Carnitine is the actual amino-acid-synthesized compound, but the acetylated form (which is more able to cross the blood-brain barrier) has been shown to have a higher bioavailability, meaning the body can more easily process and use it.
The function of L-Carnitine within the body is to break down fats into energy. Carnitine delivers a part of the fatty acid to the mitochondria, which is responsible for producing all the energy the body uses.
Carnitine deficiency has been shown to cause many symptoms, notably confusion, vomiting, muscle weakness, brain abnormalities, heart or liver failure, and may even lead to coma or death. Carnitine deficiency has been associated with malnutrition during periods without food.
The idea is that during periods of starvation, the body does not want to burn fat too quickly, so it prevents carnitine from being used. However, depending on your diet and age, your body may require more carnitine than you take in.
Vegetarians and vegans should be especially careful because carnitine is most commonly found in meat products. Pregnant women and the elderly also tend to need more carnitine than the average diet provides: for these groups, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement is advised. You may experience mild symptoms of weakness or tiredness that could be the result of not having enough carnitine.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, the acetylated version of carnitine, has shown significant promise in clinical trials for improving energy production. Specifically, it has been shown as an effective supplemental treatment for those suffering from angina and in the wake of heart failure.
Exercise, essential to those on the road to recovery, is often hard for those with heart disease, but Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements have been shown to improve patients' ability to exercise. Due to its role in the body in the fat-burning process, Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been used in weight-loss supplements for many years.
Further studies are needed to confirm this claim; however, some of the roots of obesity, or conditions like atherosclerosis in the legs which prevent exercise, have been shown to improve significantly on an Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement.
Likewise, it has been shown to improve glucose storage, uptake, and oxidation for those who have type II diabetes. Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps to balance energy levels in the body, so it makes sense that, combined with regular exercise, it could significantly improve weight loss. Finally, as a strong antioxidant, Acetyl-L-Carnitine cleans up free radicals in its area of operation - namely, around the mitochondria.
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that do damage to whatever they are around. Free radicals can do damage to the mitochondria over a lifetime, decreasing our ability to produce energy as we age. With enough Acetyl-L-Carnitine cleaning up the free radicals around our mitochondria, our energy production centers remain intact.
Acetyl L-Carnitine vs. L-Carnitine
If at any moment you have been wondering if there is any difference between L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine, below is your answer. Acetyl-L-Carnitine and the L-Carnitine are different forms of the same amino acid though they work differently. The L-Carnitine function is to convert body fat into energy.
It also supports weight loss and enhances bodybuilding and also helps in mobilizing fat from storage deposits and moves it to the mitochondria to burn as energy. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a processed form of L-Carnitine that can pass through the blood-brain barrier to help in energizing the brain.
It is also the most preferred carnitine for brain and nerve support. It also provides a substrate for the synthesis of acetylcholine which is a primary transmitter in the brain.
The Benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine
- improved memory in elderly people.
- improved the memory of those who use alcohol excessively.
- reduced nerve pain caused by diabetes.
- good for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
- improved blood flow to the brain to people who have poor blood circulation in the brain.
- treating symptoms of age-related testosterone deficiency is also known as the male menopause.
- treats mauled infertility which is caused by inflammation of some reproduction organs and tissues.
- treats Peyronie’s disease which is a connective tissue disease in men.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine Benefits and Effects:
- L-Carnitine, in the form of ALCAR, is anecdotally reported as a stimulant, but effects are less than of other known stimulants (such as Caffeine). It is currently not known why these effects occur.
- There are four common forms of carnitine supplements: L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) and Propionyl-L-Carnitine (usually bound to Glycine and called GPLC)
- L-Carnitine can be synthesized in the human body from two dietary essential amino acids, L-methionine, and lysine. This process involves a few Vitamin C-dependent enzymes, and deficiencies of Vitamin C can impair L-carnitine biosynthesis
- Acetyl-L-carnitine may directly or indirectly reverse age-associated mitochondrial decay. It acts as a chaperone to protect macromolecules, including carnitine acetyltransferase, from structural alteration and=or loss of function. Acetyl-L-carnitine partially reverses the age-associated loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and decline in membrane cardiolipin concentration and protects against oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA In aging rats, it improves brain function and ambulatory activity.
- As a dietary supplement, acetyl-L-carnitine may improve symptoms of fatigue in humans. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in humans was found to be associated with low circulating acetyl-Lcarnitine concentration and decreased accumulation in several brain regions. It has been suggested that acetyl-L-carnitine helps to maintain neuronal metabolic activity by promoting glucose and lactate uptake and utilization through its role as a precursor of glutamate in neurons. In a randomized, open-label study of 30 patients with CFS, acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine showed beneficial effects on fatigue and attention concentration.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine appears to have specific and perhaps unique roles in brain metabolism. Elderly subjects with mild mental impairment had improved scores on cognitive performance tests following such supplementation. A meta-analysis of the efficacy of acetyl-L-carnitine in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease included all identified double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective, parallel-group studies using treatment doses of 1.5–3.0 g=day of acetyl-L-carnitine that were conducted between 1983 and 2000. This analysis showed a significant advantage for acetyl-L-carnitine compared to placebo, with L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine 77 beneficial effects observed on both clinical scales and psychometric tests. The benefit was observed by 3mo of supplement use, and it increased over time. The typical usage recommended by vendors is 1–3 g=day.
- L-Carnitine infusion improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant diabetic patients. Intravenous administration of acetyl-L-carnitine increases glucose disposal in type 2 diabetic patients.
- Clinical note - Acetyl-L-carnitine shows promise as a strong therapeutic agent. Acetyl-L-carnitine, an ester form of L-carnitine, has also been researched for its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (Brooks et al 1998, Pettegrew et al 1995, Sano et al 1992, Thal et al 1996), depression in the elderly (Garzya 1990), diabetic neuropathy (De Grandis & Minardi 2002), peripheral neuropathy (Onofrj et al 1995), prevention of neuropathy in chemotherapy (Bianchi et al 2005; Maestri et al 2005), fatigue in multiple sclerosis (Tomassini et al 2004), Peyronie’s disease (Biagiotti & Cavallini 2001), degenerative cerebellar ataxia (Sorbi et al 2000) and cognitive disturbances in chronic alcoholics.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine Side Effects
Acetyl-L-Carnitine also called ALCAR though has many benefits, it has some side effects. But these side effects are found to be seen only with a high dosage.
A small quantity of this nutrient is already available in our bodies produced by the liver and kidneys. ALCAR is considered to be safe when taken in small amounts and under a doctor’s recommendation.
The following are some of the side effects that can be seen:
- Diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset;
- Headaches, sleep deprivation;
- Nervousness and fatigue;
- High blood pressure.
By taking ALCAR more than the recommended dosage, there is also the possibility of other side effects such as increased appetite, sweating, skin rashes, gastrointestinal problems and fishy odor of the urine and sweat. Acetyl-L-Carnitine has shown more side effects when combined with other medications and supplements.
This nutrient may interact with drugs and supplements you use and affect the body functions. ALCAR is not safe if you are allergic and sensitive to it. Also, Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take this because the risk involved is not yet known. So, it is always suggested to consult a doctor before taking this supplement.
Acetyl L-Carnitine Dosage, Active Amounts and Forms
There are various forms of carnitine supplementation available.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is used for cognitive enhancement. 630-2,500mg (ALCAR)
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is typically used for physical performance and power output. 1,000-4,000mg (LCLT)
- Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine (GPLC) is used to alleviate intermittent claudication and blood flow issues. 1,000-4,000mg (GPLC).
- L-carnitine is supplemented daily. The standard dose for L-carnitine is between 500-2,000mg.
Absorption of dietary L-carnitine and L-carnitine supplements appears to occur primarily by passive diffusion. In humans, approximately 54–87% of dietary L-carnitine is absorbed, depending on the amount in the diet.
The bioavailability of dietary supplements (0.6–4 g=day) is 15–20%. Unabsorbed L-carnitine is degraded by microorganisms in the large intestine.
When to Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Improve your performance during sports and stay active for a longer duration during workouts with Acetyl L Cartinite which is a great supplement for burning unnecessary fats and weight loss.
Made of derived animal products like white and red meat, fish and milk, this is a popular supplement that enhances the body’s metabolism and reduces the major causes of muscle soreness and metabolic stresses.
When to Take Acetyl L-Carnitine
It is quite important to keep track of the dosage to remain super active with this supplement. According to studies, it has been proven that a combination of this L-Carnitine with Carbohydrates like maltodextrin or dextrose has got ergogenic effects to boost up your energy levels.
It is advised to take 2-4 g of this supplement before workouts daily for about 4-6 weeks to experience great results. People who aren't much used to this supplement before, are advised to start with a lower dosage.
You can take this along with other supplements to make up a balanced diet and adjust it according to your personal sensitivity levels. Your workout skills are capable of increasing up to 11% during the initial weeks. Keep exercising longer and put in your best shots during workouts with Acetyl L-Carnitine.
Does Acetyl L-Carnitine Work
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a form of amino acid that is utilized by the human body so as to generate energy by breaking the fat. Mostly, it is usually considered as an important nutrient as the body can afford to manufacture all it requires.
The supplemental Carnitine can improve the capabilities of particular tissues to generate energy. Hence, this effect has caused to its use in many muscle disease and heart conditions.
Therefore, Acetyl-L-Carnitine has many benefits which will be discussed. According to the research by many scientists, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is usually a natural remedy antioxidant that mostly benefits the brain.
It supplies the brain with a lot of energy by improving the cell’s energy generator of the mitochondrion. It mainly promotes biosynthesis of acetylcholine which is the main neurotransmitter in the brain as well as other nerve functions.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has also been identified in many clinical studies have a lot of benefits on the cognitive ability, mood as well as memory. Finally, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is used for heart-related disorders.
More studies suggest that it is mainly utilized in the conventional treatment of angina so as to improve the symptoms and reduce some medication needs. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also used in the controlling blood sugar level of the body.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine for Weight Loss
Many people do not know about the hidden gem that is Acetyl-L-Carnation. Although it is found in many different natural and synthetic sources, many people gloss over it when reading supplement facts. The truth is that this supplement can do wonders for those in the process of losing weight.
While it is good to know that the supplement can aid in the process of weight loss, what is more, important is to understand exactly what the supplement is and how it helps the body.
When considering which form of the supplement to take, it is best to take Acetyl-L-Carnation, as it is a form that is already activated, making it easier for the body to process. Quicker processing by the body results in faster metabolism of fats.
As always, please consult with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen. Also, please remember to read any and all directions on the labels of supplements you are considering taking.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine for Bodybuilding
Acetyl L-carnitine is a dietary supplement that has been touted by weight lifters and different competitors as a protected and supportive approach to make greater and more proficient muscles.
A few doctors and analysts have taken a gander at L-carnitine to anticipate muscle squandering in individuals who require kidney dialysis; elective prescription purveyors recommend that L-carnitine may stop cell maturing.
In bodybuilders, athletes and fitness buffs alike, this translates to increase pumps in the gym and optimization of training performance. However, in average people, this may convert in as simple as having more energy to do daily chores and containing spare energy for some recreational activities.
Whichever side of the fitness scale you belong to, supplementation with ALCAR signals the same acquisition of usage value for the body.
What is L-carnitine, at any rate?
L-carnitine is an adjusted amino corrosive, created in the liver. A few conditions can bring about brought down L-carnitine levels, including:
- uncommon hereditary (innate) conditions;
- loss of L-carnitine amid dialysis;
- certain people (for instance, untimely infants).
What foods are high in acetyl L-carnitine?
Many people incorporate (make) enough L-carnitine for their necessities in the liver. You can likewise get l-carnitine form your food:
- Ground meat
- Beefsteak, ground beef
- Whole milk
- Chicken breast
- Cheese, cheddar
- Whole–wheat bread
Would it be advisable for me to take acetyl-l-carnitine supplements?
Individuals who have a liver condition that doesn't permit L-carnitine to be blended need to take L-carnitine supplements keeping in mind the end goal to survive. There is somewhat more proof that L-carnitine might be valuable for individuals with conditions that prompt loss of L-carnitine, for instance:
- Heart harm
- Muscle misfortune from kidney malady
Unless you have one of a couple of particular conditions, it's not yet clear whether L-carnitine will help you with your objectives. For a few people (counting those with seizure issues, who have Alzheimer's sickness, or who are pregnant and nursing), L-carnitine supplements might be hazardous; your most logical option may be to hold up until more data is accessible.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Testosterone
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid used for brain and nerve system support. It enables the molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier easily, and as a neurotransmitter, it may provide the substrate for acetyl chloride which is the primary neurotransmitter in the brain.
It is mainly used for mental disorders like Alzheimer’s, memory loss related to age, depression, also during alcoholism causing some thinking disorders, Down Syndrome, poor blood circulation in the brain, diabetes, nerve pain.
Acetyl-l-carnitine and testosterone have the connection as well as it is used when the testosterone level lessons in men due to aging and is prescribed when the penis-related “Peyronie’s diseases” is observed.
Studies show that beneficiaries who were taking Carnitine, the level of androgen receptor in their bodies increased significantly, and it was observed that the level of such receptors was more in men who were working out than in those who were not.
Besides increasing the level of androgen receptors studies showed that it improves the quality of sperm, and accordingly, it results in augmentation of androgen receptors density and testosterone utilization.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine either taken orally or in the form of an injection is safe, its side effects are the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, seizures.
It generates energy, aids heart better functioning and blood circulation, but it should always be taken into consideration that before taking this medicine, one should consult a physician.
How to Stack Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Here are some of the best ways to stack acetyl-l-carnitine in order to empower its action.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid
L-carnitine is a natural substance produced by the body. Many of the cells in our body contain this carnitine which helps the cells in producing energy. Also, people frequently take it as a dietary supplement in its acetylated form called Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC/ALCAR).
In this form, carnitine increases the mental sharpness of an individual and makes him more focused and more alert. In other words, one can use it as an overall mind booster. Owing to this, various researchers have identified the uses of ALC in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism, and depression.
Furthermore, some studies have found that with the help of ALCAR, a human body can utilize insulin more efficiently, thus providing assistance in treating diabetes.
One can realize the effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine within a few hours of its intake. In addition to these benefits, Acetyl-L-Carnitine along with certain supplements like Alpha-Lipoic acid can protect cardiovascular health against free radical damages.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and CoQ10
People use the Acetyl l carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, and coq10 in peripheral neuropathy, brain function, age-related conditions, and others. It's an antioxidant that neutralizes the potentially harmful free radicals.
What makes the alpha-lipoic acid unique is its effectiveness to recycle the antioxidants like glutathione and vitamin C. It is water and fat-soluble as well. This means that it can function all throughout the body.
The anti-oxidants in the body are primarily used to attack the free radicals. However, evidence even suggests that the Acetyl l carnitine alpha lipoic acid coq10 can help regenerate the other antioxidants and in making them active. Several studies suggest that Alpha Lipoic Acid is useful in helping lower the levels of blood sugar.
It also can kill the free radicals and assist people with the diabetic peripheral neuropathy or with tingling, itching, burning, pain, numbness in legs and arms from the nerve damage.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a type of fatty acid that is found inside every cell in the body. The Alpha Lipoic Acid is required by the body to produce energy for the normal functions. ALA gets converted into glucose and energy. The Alpha Lipoic Acid is even an antioxidant that counteracts the potentially harmful chemicals.
It functions in fat and water at the same time, thereby enabling to enter all the parts of the nerve cell and even protect it from the damage. It can help in the age-related conditions and help in protecting brain functions. Alpha Lipoic Acid is often suggested for other conditions sclerosis, glaucoma, cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, burning mouth syndrome.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine for Memory
There are smart nutrients that are capable of improving human memory, concentration and the ability to learn. In scientific terms, these nutrients are usually referred to as the cognitive enhancing supplements, and there are some terms that fall under this category.
Among these supplements, there is the Acetyl-L-Carnitine that is said to boost memory power. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is derived from an amino acid that is found accruing naturally in the body. This moves fats to the mitochondria which are the energy-producing structures in the cells, and the Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also available as a dietary supplement.
There are some studies that are done showing that this Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement supercharges the production of cellular energy so that it in return maximizes your memory, longevity, and health. Most of the researchers do believe that this Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps in improving cognition or memory power as it increases the production of acetylcholine in the brain.
This acetylcholine plays a significant role in brain and memory functions. It can also work by increasing dopamine activity in a part of the brain where dopamine is produced.
There are also some recent researches and studies conducted that individuals with Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplementation can supercharge mitochondria that play the most important role in improving memory power and also longevity and one's health status.
AcetyL-L-Carnitine for ADHD
Recent studies reveal the ability of Acetyl l carnitine to alleviate aggressive behavior and attention problems in kids with ADHD. The supplements are a highly effective antioxidant promotes good blood flow and proper neurological function.
Carnitine could potentially be used for treating impulsive/hyperactive ADHD, as it lowers the aggression or conduct problems exhibited by the ADHD patients. A Dutch study found that Acetyl l carnitine is even more useful for treating the subtype of ADHD that is characterized by inattentiveness.
The same study also found that individuals showing inattentive symptoms showed signs of improvement after taking Carnitine. This may be linked to other studies that associate Acetyl l carnitine treatment to individuals with increased energy.
It is important to note that individuals suffering from the effects of ADHD experience reduced blood flow, which is a vital component of the brain. Acetyl l carnitine helps focus an individual’s attention on particular tasks, maintain focus, and eliminate distractions.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Brain Fog
L-carnitine is the acetylated form of L-Carnitine. It is the active form of Carnitine, and in the brain, Carnitine in any form is acetylated into Acetyl Carnitine. L-Carnitine is naturally produced in a human being from lysine and methionine amino acids. It is also supplied from foods like red meats, poultry, and dairy.
Deficiency of L-Carnitine is the main reason for brain fog. L-Carnitine helps in maintaining the level of acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter and aids in the biosynthesis process.
Brain fog is the situation where the individual experiences a blur in mind. The primary symptom is difficulty concentrating and memory problems. Brain fog is the main concern in stroke patients.
Acetyl L-Carnitine can repair the brain cells and revoke the damage. Carnitine works by improving brain functioning. It revokes the brain cells and has been found to be effective even in the elderly.
Carnitine aids in the transportation of the fatty acids into the mitochondria thus increasing energy. Therefore, it promotes energy production in the nerve cells. Carnitine has antioxidant activity in the brain, thereby freeing the brain from harmful free radicals.
It is also being administered to patients with Alzheimer’s, Down’s syndrome, alcoholic toxicity, diabetic nerve issues and to protect from the degenerative effect of MSG and aspartame.