I asked a question on bio stackexchange a few days from which I was hoping to be able to arrive at an answer for this question myself but I have had no such luck so now I am going to just ask outright: other than acetyl-L-carnitine are there any orally-bioavailable compounds (in particular orally-bioavailable to humans) that exists that can serve as an acetyl group donor for CoA?

My main motivation for asking this question is that I know that acetyl-L-carnitine indirectly promotes the acetylation of histones by serving as an acetyl donor for CoA by serving as a substrate for carnitine O-acetyltransferase and then this resulting acetyl-CoA then donates an acetyl group to histones by means of the enzyme histone acetyltransferase.

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    $\begingroup$ I would have thought that the major source of acetyl-CoA are fatty acids via beta-oxidation? $\endgroup$ – user1136 Sep 9 '13 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ You have a good point but it would be just exquisite if you could find some evidence to support the idea that a significant amount of these acetyl-CoA's are used by histone acetyltransferase and thus influence gene expression. $\endgroup$ – BH2017 Sep 9 '13 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any evidence that acetylcarnitine acts as an "acetyl donor"? I understood that its use as a supplement was to supply carnitine. Could you give a reference for the statements in the second paragraph of the question? $\endgroup$ – Alan Boyd Nov 7 '13 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ I would assume that acetylcarnitine is not an acetyl donor for CoA. According to this paper, a "typical" ester hydrolysis reaction is less energetically favorable than a "typical" thioester hydrolysis reaction. So hydrolysis of the ester bond in acetyl-L-carnitine will not provide enough free energy for the formation of a thioester bond with CoA. I'm pretty sure @TomD is right about the source of acetyl-CoA. Also, I highly doubt that the acetyl groups used for histone acetylation come from a different source than those used in metabolism. $\endgroup$ – stords Apr 5 '14 at 20:57

This is only a guess, maybe acetic acid, ie vinegar?

Acids are effectively hydrogen salts, but the acetyl ion might be alkaline like the hydroxyl ion, making acetic acid less acidic than most? As in water, pH neutral, is a combination of hydrogen and hydroxyl, H and OH, ions?

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    $\begingroup$ Hi ! Welcome to Bio Stack Exchange ! I do not know whether your answer is correct or not but I would suggest that if you are unsure of an answer it is better to leave a comment then to write an answer. Also, your answer will be easily accepted if you provide a good source/reference for your answer. Have a great time here !! $\endgroup$ – biogirl Nov 6 '13 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks biogirl, I wasn't sure how to just leave a comment. I found TomD's answer that fatty acids donate acetyl ions interesting. $\endgroup$ – Fleur Dec 22 '13 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ No worries ! Have fun ! $\endgroup$ – biogirl Dec 23 '13 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ Free acetate is apparently used to acetylate CoA, in an ATP dependent manner, at least according to wikipedia. But I think the question is looking for acetyl donors for which the reaction is favorable on its own (doesn't need to be coupled to ATP hydrolysis to proceed). $\endgroup$ – stords Apr 5 '14 at 20:42

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