What is ALCAR?
Acetyl L-CARNITINE (ALCAR) is a modified version of carnitine, a popular sports supplement. It is also considered a nootropic medicine with many cognitive benefits. Being an amino acid, this compound helps in transforming fat into energy, so its supplements are used for slimming and for increasing both physical and mental energy. The compound is produced in the body by the liver and kidneys, and also occurs in red meat (especially lamb)
How does ALCAR work?
ALCAR is absorbed into the bloodstream after oral supplementation. It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to get into the brain. In the brain, the compound acts as a precursor to acetylcholine, the most important neurotransmitter. The compound binds to free choline to synthesize acetylcholine, so its combination with choline-rich food or other cholinergic supplements can be very helpful. The compound acts as a neuro-protector because it has antioxidant properties. The compound is capable of protecting nerve cells when they are at risk due to energy deficits, aging, alcohol abuse or oxidative stress.
Studies on ALCAR
Some studies in animals and humans have shown that using ALCAR supplements may be helpful in overcoming cognitive impairment due to aging, Alzheimer's disease or for any other reason. The study showed that ALCAR may have potential benefits for neuropathic pain. Acetylation of the L-carnitine compound is crucial for cognitive benefits. As described above, this acyl component is helpful in the conversion of choline to acetylcholine. ALCAR effects This acetylcholine is the main neurotransmitter that helps in improving memory, learning, reminding and attention, etc. On the other hand, the benefits of L-carnitine are energy production using fats for energy production. It can indirectly bring cognition, providing additional mental energy. However, it is accepted that the ALCAR dietary supplement may be beneficial only for people with a deficiency of carnitine. As meat is the main source of carnitine, it can usually be concluded that vegetarians may lack carnitine and ALCAR supplements are usually recommended. Moreover, it has been reported that the synthesis of carnitine is slower in newborns, and they receive supply from breast milk, although most children overcome the level of carnitine in their blood. This is one of the reasons why breastfeeding women should eat foods rich in nutrients, including meat.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
Recommendations vary, however most sources suggest 500-700 mg once a day, preferably in the early part of the day and to consume higher amounts only for a short period of time.
There are very trivial side effects with ALCAR consumption in higher doses, like headache. For normal doses, the drug is considered safe. There might be gastric disorders, like nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps etc.
Caution: You should consult a healthcare physician prior to taking ALCAR, because its use as well as dosage is linked to a number of factors including your current medical condition (e.g., body’s Carnitine level, dietary habits etc). Consult a specialist if you are patient of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or if you are pregnant or lactating. Pregnant and lactating women should consult a physician prior to taking ALCAR.