Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is an acetylated form of L-carnitine, derived from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys. The human body uses Acetyl L-Carnitine for fatty acid oxidation, the process in which fatty acids are broken down to create energy. It achieves this by transporting fatty acids across the mitochondria membrane for oxidation to occur. The highest levels of ALCAR are found in tissues that use fatty acids as their main fuel, namely the skeletal and cardiac muscles.
Because of the attached acetyl group, Acetyl L-Carnitine is a cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent.
ALCAR is also able to enter the circulation of the central nervous system, where it acts as a powerful antioxidant. Recent studies have demonstrated synergistic benefits from the combination of ALCAR and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Acetyl L-Carnitine supports cellular energy production by assisting in the transport of fat to the mitochondria where it is oxidized and converted into ATP (chemical energy for the cell). As a highly bioavailable form of L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine helps maintain healthy cellular energy metabolism.
While the body can manufacture all necessary amounts of Acetyl L-Carnitine, supplemental carnitine can still improve the ability of tissues to produce energy.
Carnitines also remove waste products from the energy transfer process. In a healthy individual, the kidneys regulate the level of carnitine in the body. However, those suffering from kidney failure or cancer may be unable to maintain adequate amounts of carnitine. Other conditions also may result in reduced carnitine levels in the body including cardiovascular disease, claudication and certain medications.