Acetylcarnitine (ALCAR)

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2019)


Acetylcarnitine is the acetylated form of l-carnitine, and in this form it provides more stimulatory and nootropic effects than l-carnitine by itself. This is due to the addition of an acetyl group, which allows it to more easily to cross the blood brain barrier.

When supplemented, ALCAR is used to promote longevity and reduce the harmful effects of aging. ALCAR achieves this by supporting the mitochondria and providing neuroprotective and antioxidant effects. ALCAR is also typically used to raise energy levels – it has been shown to reduce physical and mental fatigue12http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1765862813http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1503951514http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1806559415http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1769314516http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12875611, and improve anaerobic exercise performance17http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1934145818http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21224234.

ALCAR is an incredible nootropic. In many ways it is the epitome of a true nootropic: it has incredibly powerful neuroprotective qualities by preventing  damage from oxidative stress, alcohol, and the cognitive decline associated with aging1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/207086812http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/121991556https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1564111019https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21782933. It also enhances cognition 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/200982264http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658628, improves attention5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12213433, and is well-tolerated.

ALCAR also modestly increases levels of several key neurochemicals including acetylcholine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and NGF7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/67906698https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/225490359https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/813717410https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/397488511http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1324679.

Most interestingly, however, is ALCAR’s ability to provide choline to the brain. While not typically thought of as cholinergic, it is able to promote acetylcholine synthesis in the brain through a indirect mechanisms. This thread on LongeCity explains it extremely thoroughly and is well-cited, if you’re interested in the details.


Cholinergic mechanisms of ALCAR


In short, ALCAR is unlike other cholinergics in that it is not a precursor for acetylcholine synthesis in the brain, but instead indirectly causes high amounts of acetylcholine to be reliably synthesized. There have been numerous studies which have confirmed ALCARs ability to rapidly raise levels of ACh in the brain 20https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/030439408990826421https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF0097374922https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0028390885900942.

Overall ALCAR is a very unique nootropic that can provide various mental and physical benefits, with increased energy and neuroprotection being the most significant.



Where to Purchase ALCAR

nootropics depot

ALCAR may be purchased at Nootropics Depot.

I recommend Nootropics Depot because they have been around for a long time and have maintained a solid reputation. They have excellent quality control metrics: they  do in-house testing as well as independent 3rd-party testing, and they have certificates of analysis available for all of their products.



Dosage Information

The recommended ALCAR dose is 250mg to 1000mg. I would recommend you start with smaller doses and up them until you find the sweet spot, as higher doses can be less effective. I found 650 mg to be the sweet spot. ALCAR can be taken with or without meals, but is best absorbed on an empty stomach.



1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708681

2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12199155

3. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20098226

4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658628

5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12213433

6. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15641110

7. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6790669

8. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22549035

9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8137174

10. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3974885

11. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1324679

12. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658628

13. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15039515

14. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18065594

15. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17693145

16. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12875611

17. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19341458

18 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21224234

19. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21782933

20. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0304394089908264

21. link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00973749

22. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0028390885900942


Jacob S

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