Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid the body uses to turn fat into energy. It is not normally considered an essential nutrient because the body can manufacture all it needs. However, supplemental Carnitine may improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy. This effect has led to the use of Carnitine in various muscle diseases as well as heart conditions.
There is no dietary dosage requirement for L-Carnitine. However, a few individuals have a genetic defect that hinders the body’s ability to make L-Carnitine. In addition, diseases of the liver, kidneys, or brain may inhibit Carnitine production. Certain medications, especially the antiseizure drugs valproic acid (Depakene) and phenytoin (Dilantin), may reduce Carnitine levels; however, whether taking extra Carnitine would be helpful has not been determined. Heart muscle tissue, because of its high energy requirements, is particularly vulnerable to Carnitine deficiency.
Typical dosages for the diseases described here range from 200 or 250mg to 1000mg 2-3 times daily. Carnitine is taken in three forms: L-Carnitine (for heart and other conditions), Propionyl-L-Carnitine (for heart conditions), and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (for Alzheimer’s disease). The dosage is the same for all three forms.
Acetyl L-Carnitine is a supplement that is increasingly being used as a powerful brain booster and memory enhancer.
Researchers have found it can improve mental energy levels while also keeping the brain healthy as we age and even offering measurable benefits to patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of memory loss.
The more commonly used term for Acetyl L-Carnitine is ALCAR. This is a natural dietary supplement derived from L-Carnitine (which is a protein supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes).
ALCAR has the advantage of being able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier enabling it to provide the brain with essential materials it requires to function optimally.
How does Acetyl L-Carnitine affect the brain? Is ALCAR a true cognitive enhancer?