Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)


Summary: Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a popular multi-functional nutrient, amino acid type nootropic. It benefits the body and brain. A potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant, and a powerful energizing nootropic that promotes anti-aging and longevity.




Introduction


What is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, also known as ALCAR and ALC, is an amino acid naturally produced in your body to generate energy. It’s also found in animal proteins such as red meats. Many people supplement with acetyl-L-carnitine because of its potential benefits. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a more bioavailable form of amino acid l-carnitine, a derivative of amino acid lysine. The body continuously produces L-carnitine, and furthermore gets it from the foods you eat.

Although research shows actual carnitine insufficiency is uncommon in healthy people with no metabolic disorders, supplementation with addition of it is proven to be beneficial in many different ways. Ranging from improving heart health (R) to enhancing brain function (R).

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is L-carnitine with the addition of an acetyl group, thereby making it the most bioavailable form of L-carnitine and it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Its primary actions work towards brain functionality. Its nootropic properties seem to magnify when taken with other nootropics. The combination makes it a potentiating agent allowing nootropics to work more effectively.

Other forms of L-carnitine include L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT) which is typically assessing physical performance, and Glycine Propionyl L-carnitine (GPLC), which relieves blood flow issues. The only L-carnitine form that possesses nootropic properties is Acetyl L-carnitine, and it furthermore provides both L-carnitine and acetyl groups (molecule) that act towards the development of the learning neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.


Benefits & Effects


What Are Acetyl-L-Carnitine Benefits?

  1. Enhances Brain Function and Stamina
  2. Provides Neuroprotection Against Brain Cell Death
  3. Restores Cognitive Function and Repairs Impairment
  4. Support Mitochondrial Function and Nervous System
  5. Regulates Sexual Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction

Research proves ALCAR beneficial to the brain and body in many ways. From enhancing cognitive abilities (R) to increasing energy (R), reducing pain, and even preventing damage from alcohol consumption. (R)

Enhances Brain Function and Stamina

Studies show that it successfully lowers mental exhaustion and improves cognitive function as well as learning capability. In a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 2-phase study, 66 participants with fatigue were given 2 g of L-carnitine once a day. By the end of the study, the group taking L-carnitine showed significant improvements in physical fatigue, mental fatigue, fatigue severity amongst other physical enhancements, as compared to those receiving a placebo.

Moreover, the study confirms that oral supplementation of L-carnitine reduces the total of fat mass, increases muscular mass, increases capacity for physical and cognitive activity, improves cognitive functions, all while reducing fatigue as well. (R)

Provides Neuroprotection Against Brain Cell Death

Due to its potent antioxidant attributes, ALCAR acts as a neuroprotectant, blocking and restoring damage from free radicals that injure brain cells. It also helps the brain clear itself of other toxins and decreases cell death due to excitotoxicity, a neurotic process that triggers by the over-activation of glutamate receptors. It enhances the neural network by stimulating nerves and signal receptors and additionally protects the brain against the damaging influences of drinking alcohol. (R)

Restores Cognitive Function and Repairs Impairment

One of Acetyl-L-Carnitine’ many exciting prospects is as a treatment for age-related neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. It has been confirmed to dramatically slow decline in Alzheimer’s patients and decreases age-related recall failure. Other studies showed that ALCAR supports repair ambulatory capability in the elderly and functions as a mood lifter as well as working as an anti-depressant in the elderly. (R)

Support Mitochondrial Function and Nervous System

ALCAR promotes mitochondrial function and serves to support the nervous system overall performance. Especially in the case where an individual is subject to neurodegenerative disease. It can be of significant benefit to people with physical disorders typically correlated with aging, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It has shown to be efficient in managing nerve pain, enhancing kidney function, and improving heart health. (R) (R)

Regulates Sexual Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction

ALCAR regulates men’s infertility and improves signs of andropause and erectile dysfunction. It is also in use to fight Peyronie’s disease, an inflammatory disease that affects the penis. (R) (R) Additionally, it is under clinical trials as a possible treatment for chronic fatigue.


Mechanism of Action


ALCAR synthesizes primarily in the liver and kidneys, after which it travels to other tissues. ALCAR has excellent bioavailability. The gastrointestinal tract quickly digests it. Its actions differ considerably from other forms of L-carnitine, which don’t cross the blood-brain barrier. The acetyl groups that make ALCAR unique, enable it to cross the blood-brain barrier readily and rapidly. Its most effective role is within the cerebellum.

Another one of ALCAR’s nootropic benefits involves the acetyl groups, which produce the support for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Often referred to as “the learning neurotransmitter,” acetylcholine is accountable for learning, memory, and cognitive function. Increased levels of acetylcholine result in an improvement in cognitive function, and low levels of that essential neurotransmitter risks neurological complications similar to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Neurotransmitters

ALCAR resumes showing increasing levels of norepinephrine and serotonin. They are vital neurotransmitters that play an essential part in mood and brain function. The capacity to improve neurotransmitter production is one of the principal techniques that ALCAR complements nootropics attributes. Similar to those of the racetams, which enhance the action of neurotransmitter receptors in the cerebellum.

Moreover, ALCAR targets brain metabolism, promoting cellular energy and serving as a potent neuroprotectant. Its critical antioxidant qualities combat the impressions of cellular oxidation. It further decreases the number of damaged cells in an individual brain, thereby becoming a useful longevity tool.

Damaged fat cells identified as lipofuscin (age spots) also happen in the brain and are actively correlated amidst age-related neurological dysfunctions, lack of energy, and weak memory. By supporting the brain excrete those damaged cells. ALCAR increases brain function and significantly lessens the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. It has also been shown to limit brain deterioration during times of stress.


Dosage


How to Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

Typical ALCAR dosage is 500 mg per day once in the morning, and up to 1,500 mg split into three doses of 500 mg. From there, adjust dosage to your need without exceeding 1,500 mg. At least not during trial period.

It is water-soluble, therefore it can be taken with or without food. However, taking ALCAR late in the evening can result in disruption of sleep.

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details:

The standard dose for L-carnitine is between 500-2,000mg.


There are various forms of carnitine supplementation available.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is used for cognitive enhancement. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is typically used for physical performance and power output.

Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC) is used to alleviate intermittent claudication and blood flow issues.

L-carnitine is supplemented daily. The equivalent dosage range for other forms of L-carnitine are as follows: 630-2,500mg (ALCAR), 1,000-4,000mg (LCLT) and 1,000-4,000mg (GPLC).

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Side Effects


Side effects are uncommon. If they occur, it is usually in in the cases of consuming high doses before allowing the body to adapt to the additional amount of Acetyl-L-Carnitine that it is receiving.

Nausea is the most common side effect. It is easily preventable by taking ALCAR alongside food rather than on an empty stomach.

Headaches are the second most common side effect, which may imply an excessive amounts of choline.

Users report that headaches from ALCAR use decrease when they reduce the amount of choline in their stacks and diets.


Conclusion


ALCAR is an outstanding amino acid nootropic. It offers many benefits to both the body and the brain. In addition to its potent  brain boosting effect, it is also a healthy nutrient.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is safe, affordable, very tolerable, and easily accessible in department and drug stores. It enhances cognitive function, supports ant-aging and longevity, which makes it a nootropic worth adding to any stack.


User Experiences


To be fair in sharing the Reddit community experiences, I will add the first 3 that I see whether the experience is positive or negative. Three Acetyl-L-Carnitine reddit experiences:

First Experience

As the title says, it’s been a game changer. Old stack was citicoline 300mg b.id with centrophenoxine 350mg one to two times daily. Switched Centro to ALCAR 500 one daily just to try and damn it’s been really good. Mornings are good, everything is really clear. Honestly this feels a lot like amphetamine. So much so that I cancelled my pdoc appt to get a refill. I was basically off the meds but wanted to have a few around but now I really don’t think I need them. Very glad people on here have posted about alcar before!skibenz

Second Experience

Funny enough I get a stronger response from ALCAR then I do racetams in regards to mental performance. It seems to make me really smart. Your mileage may vary though. To OP: I get results in a day. Be careful for not overdoing it. I’ve posted before that acetylcholine overload tends to make you depressed and function worse.eastmangoboy

Third Experience

I have been taking Acetyl for about 17yrs. For the last 2 yrs or so it has affected me less and less (no idea why) but before that, I noticed a MASSIVE positive boost from taking it. I experienced a huge uptick in word retrieval and overall brain function. used to always say that when I took Acetyl, it was like an electric switch was turned on, as that’s what it felt like … electric..I always bought it in bulk powder and almost always used 1 gram in my morning shake (180lb Male). DO NOT use it after noon …. you will NOT sleep !!!! You should notice a difference within 3-4 days. As I did mention, I am noticing now that I am affected by Acetyl less and less. If I miss a few days, I don’t really notice it like I did years ago and I don’t really get that electric charge feeling. I don’t know why this is, as I’ve purchased a few different brands.German_Mafia

Further Reading & External References


Acetylcarnitine – Wikipedia

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Uses and Risks


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