This 2021 rodent study traumatized female mice during their last 20% of pregnancy, with effects that included:
- Prenatally stressed pups raised by stressed mothers had normal cognitive function, but depressive-like behavior and social impairment;
- Prenatally stressed pups raised by control mothers did not reverse behavioral deficits; and
- Control pups raised by stressed mothers displayed prenatally stressed pups’ behavioral phenotypes.
“Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) protected against and reversed depressive-like behavior induced by prenatal trauma:
ALCAR was supplemented in drinking water of s → S mice either from weaning to adulthood (3–8 weeks), or for one week in adulthood (7–8 weeks). ALCAR supplementation from weaning rendered s → S mice resistant to developing depressive-like behavior.
ALCAR supplementation for 1 week during adulthood rescued depressive-like behavior. One week after ALCAR cessation, however, the anti-depressant effect of ALCAR was diminished.
Intergenerational trauma induces social deficits and depressive-like behavior through divergent and convergent mechanisms of both in utero and early-life parenting environments:
- We establish 2-HG [2-hydroxyglutaric acid, a hypoxia and mitochondrial dysfunction marker, and an epigenetic modifier] as an early predictive biomarker for trauma-induced behavioral deficits; and
- Demonstrate that early pharmacological correction of mitochondria metabolism dysfunction by ALCAR can permanently reverse behavioral deficits.”
https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02255-2 “Intergenerational trauma transmission is associated with brain metabotranscriptome remodeling and mitochondrial dysfunction”
Previously curated studies cited were:
- This dietary supplement is better for depression symptoms than placebo; and
- A common dietary supplement that has rapid and lasting antidepressant effects.
This study had an effusive endorsement of acetyl-L-carnitine in its Discussion section, ending with:
“This has the potential to change lives of millions of people who suffer from major depression or have risk of developing this disabling disorder, particularly those in which depression arose from prenatal traumatic stress.”
I take a gram daily. Don’t know about prenatal trauma, but I’m certain what happened during my early childhood.
I asked both these researchers and those of Reference 70 for their estimates of a human equivalent to “0.3% ALCAR in drinking water.” Will update with their replies.