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Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is the acetylated form of L-carnitine. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is sold as a dietary product. ALCAR was first introduced in Europe in the early 1980s and a decade later it appeared on the American market. L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. It is responsible for the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria (powerhouses of the cell). As it affects energy metabolism, specifically fatty acids transport to mitochondria, it is often found in weight loss products. Because L-carnitine is naturally present in the body, it is not considered an essential nutrient. However, due to a number of different reasons (i.e., genetic disorders and even a vegetarian lifestyle) a large proportion of people are deficient in this amino acid.
As ALCAR is a modified version of L-Carnitine it has similar metabolic benefits. However, ALCAR has one major advantage as it improves cognitive functions, such as the ability to learn. This is attributed to ALCAR’s special qualities, particularly with regards to the central nervous system (CNS,) and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, increased levels of Acetyl-L-Carnitine positively affect memory, mood and even boosts energy production in your brain.
The synthesis of ALCAR naturally decreases with age, which, if not addressed, may trigger neurological decline and accelerated aging effect on the brain. When compared to other forms of L-Carnitine, ALCAR has been proven to have greater positive effects on mental fatigue and attention concentration in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In addition, ALCAR can enhance alertness and prevent brain deterioration during stressful periods. Several studies demonstrated that ALCAR positively affects brain metabolism after energetic stresses.
L-Carnitine is a substance which is naturally produced in the body. It is mostly associated with physical performance and increased energy. Acetyl-L-Carnitine, on the other hand, leads to greater cognitive benefits. These benefits include:
The recommended daily dosage of Acetyl-L-Carnitine is between 500 to 3000 mg. You should split it into two or three equal administrations throughout the day. Users who are taking this product for general health purposes should use lower dosages. Whereas those who are expecting nootropic effects should use higher dosages.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a water-soluble compound. It should be taken with food, as opposed to an empty stomach. Following ingestion, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is absorbed into the blood, which transports it to the central nervous system. The substance then crosses the blood-brain barrier exceptionally quickly. Inside the brain it binds to choline and, depending on the levels, helps produce acetylcholine neurotransmitter.
If choline levels are not sufficient, acetylcholine is not produced. Which is why taking Acetyl-L-Carnitine with a good choline product can dramatically increase your acetylcholine levels. This results in a number of cognitive benefits. Alpha GPC and Citicoline are great sources of choline, albeit pretty potent ones, thus careful dosing is essential. Acetyl-L-Carnitine can also be used with other nootropics.
ALCAR is absorbed in the gut via the OCTN2 transporter. After ingestion, Acetyl-L-Carnitine quickly moves to different tissues, including the brain and the heart. Aside from its nootropic properties, this substance works as an effective way to maintain general health. Once it reaches the brain, it is broken down into Acetyl- CoA which binds to choline to form Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a crucial neurotransmitter that it is directly related to various cognitive functions, such as memory, decision making and learning.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine may even have a positive effect on myelin sheath (an insulating layer) that coats each nerve cell, including those in the central nervous system. Alongside protein, fat is a major component of the myelin sheath. Myelin sheath facilitates the effective transmission of electrical impulses around the body. Therefore, if there is any damage to myelin, the whole nervous system would start to dysfunction thereby slowing the impulses down. ALCAR has a higher bioavailability compared to L-Carnitine. Although there is a high individual variability, the effect of ALCAR on cognitive functions is observed after 20 minutes.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is safe to use compound. The kidneys and the liver naturally synthesise small amounts of this substance, so the body tolerates it very well. Human clinical trials showed no negative side-effects. However, some symptoms, albeit very mild, have been reported by the users. High doses may result in headaches, vomiting, irritability and body odour. Headaches can be dealt with in two ways: either by adding a good source of Choline (e.g. Alpha GPC) or decreasing the dose of Acetyl-L-Carnitine. There must always be a balance between the two. Also, due to its effects on the CNS it may also have a stimulating effect in some people.
Serving size: 1 scoop (500 mg)
Servings per tub: 200
Amount per serving: Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500 mg
This product is free from: Artificial Flavours, Colours & Preservatives, Lactose, Yeast & Gluten
Suitable for: Vegetarians and Vegans
✝ These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The above products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should consult a physician before taking a new product or a nootropic. This product should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers, people suffering from cardiovascular disease or those under 18 years of age.
Any studies cited here are not conclusive and are limited to their closed environment nature; they might not determine ones experience with a nootropic, due to a large number of unaccounted variables falling outside the scope of such studies.
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