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L-Carnitine reduces ADHD symptoms
ADHD & L-carnitine
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is believed to improve brain cell functioning by facilitating the burning of fatty acids, which helps brain and nerve cells to preserve their membranes.
That's why the researchers carried out an experiment on 22 boys aged 6-13, all of whom had been diagnosed as having ADHD. The researchers gave the boys a fluid L-carnitine preparation twice a day after meals. The boys got 100 mg L-carnitine per kg bodyweight, with a maximum dose of 4 g L-carnitine per day.
They were given L-carnitine for a period of eight weeks. The researchers also gave the boys a placebo for another period of eight weeks.
Before and after the eight-week periods the researchers got the parents of the boys to fill in the Child Behavior Checklist. Psychologists use this questionnaire to determine whether a child has ADHD.
The figure below shows the children's scores before and after supplementation. The researchers split the children into responders and non-responders. They do not divulge how the children reacted to the placebo. The average scores of Dutch children without ADHD are shown for comparison.
In the responders L-carnitine reduced the ADHD symptoms by 20-65 percent. So even among the responders there was no sign of a 'cure'.
When the researchers analysed the boys' blood, they found that the responders had higher levels of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine than the non-responders.
We haven't been able to find this "larger scale study".
The Dutch researchers worked with carnitine manufacturer Sigma Tau. Sigma Tau sponsored the study through "randomization and blinding of the labeled medication" and "continuous support" in the form of a supervisor. The researchers did not receive money from Sigma Tau.