Yes, I found ALCAR way in the back of my supplement cupboard. And started using it again! It was one of those things that I heard is good for something or other that seemed beneficial at the time, and then I forgot or did not really understand the benefits enough to make it a part of my lasting supplement regimen. But just recently I discovered some compelling information about ALCAR that I want to share with you.
First of all, ALCAR is the acronym for Acetyl-L-Carnitine, a very bio-available form of the amino acid, L. carnitine. According to Alhasaniah (2022), carnitine is a naturally occurring substance that is non-toxic orally in amounts up to a few grams daily, and is easily eliminated by the body.
Benefits of Aceytyl-L-Carnitine:
- Able to pass the blood brain barrier, and increasing brain circulation, it improves brain function, such as memory, mood, focus, learning, and creativity
- Increases circulation in muscles
- Improves insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation
- Helps metabolize fat as well as burn stored fat, thereby aiding in fat loss
- Decreases inflammation
- Anti-aging – builds muscle
- Prevents muscle wasting
- Boosts testosterone by helping your body better utilize the testosterone you have (Note: Women need and produce testosterone too, just not as much as men.)
- Can boost other sex hormones and fertility
- Increases glutathione levels, the body’s master antioxidant
- Reduces mitochondrial dysfunction
- Promotes neuron repair
- Can help dementia and Alzheimer’s by restoring cognitive function or slowing the decline
In addition to all of the above, ALCAR also appears to be cardioprotective, increases neuroplasticity, and shows potential for treating Parkinson’s Disease, hepatic encephalopathy, depression, epilepsy, and even autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
As for ASD, it was found that people with ASD have altered carnitine metabolism and impaired fatty acid metabolism. It is thought that they also have mitochondria dysfunction. There are encouraging findings for supplementing with carnitine. In an 8-week study, the participants were given carnitine 200 mg/kg up to 400 mg/kg daily, in 3 divided doses with some very positive results.
How can you get this goodness in you?
Sources of Acetyl-L-Carnitine:
- Diet – Meat, fish, and dairy products, with beef being the best source by far
- Supplements – ALCAR, here is the one I take
- Produced by the body in the liver and kidneys
As for doses, studies have shown that up to 2 grams daily is well-tolerated (Alhasaniah, 2022). Some advise to split the dose, morning (first thing) and then in the afternoon. It could hinder sleep if taken too late in the day. I am currently taking two 500 mg doses daily. But please discuss with your healthcare provider whether supplementing with ALCAR would benefit you.
Possible Side Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (although I have not experienced any of the below):
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dry Mouth
- Fishy body odor
Secondly, ALCAR is a nootropic, which is a substance that enhances cognitive performance. You can get some in your diet, a pharmaceutical, or a supplement. It is a Greek word, meaning mind (noos) turning (trope). According to Wikipedia, caffeine is “the world’s most consumed nootropic”. Nicotine is a nootropic as well. Also, it is thought the amino acid L. theanine is one too.
And yes, I am drinking coffee as I write this.
In addition, several herbs have nootropic effects, two of the more familiar ones are Panax ginseng and Gingko Biloba. Some pharmaceuticals are also nootropics such as amphetamines and levodopa. Medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, and chaga are considered nootropics as well.
Thirdly, GRAS. Have you heard about this? I, for one, keep running across this acronym. And then usually continue reading, commenting to myself the I need to look that up, yet again. (I think I need ALCAR for this brain problem! “Can I get a witness?” [Some Kind of Wonderful by Grand Funk Railroad, for you Baby Boomers.])
Way too much digression, back to GRAS. It stands for Generally Regarded As Safe. Which is a designation you may or may not choose to trust. But from all I have been able to gather from research, it seems that ALCAR falls into the GRAS category.
You just may want to consider adding this amazing supplement to your regimen.
Now taking my ALCAR seriously.
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~Seeking Health News~
Check out their ALCAR here. The price is reasonable, and it is what I am using. If you order some, be sure to use my discount code for 10% off. It is good whether you are a new or existing client.
I buy many of my supplements from Seeking Health as the quality is high, and as a disclosure, I am also an affiliate, yet at no extra cost to you.
You can check out their other supplements HERE. Use my code SAVEFEB to save 10% (or SAVEMAR if you order in March) . This code is good for new clients and existing clients.
This company was developed by Dr. Ben Lynch, author of Dirty Genes. You can read my review of his book as well as the short interview that he provided me.
Alhasaniah, A. H. (2022). L. carnitine: nutrition, pathology, and health benefits. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2023 Feb; 30(2). Published online 2022 Dec 30 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36632072/
How Acetyl-L-carnitine Burns Fat and Powers the Brain by Spencer Brooks (in a Bulletproof article 2/19/23)