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Acetyl-l-carnitine (a.k.a. acetyl-carnitine, ALCAR, ALC) is the acetyl ester of L-carnitine. In other words, it's regular l-carnitine to which an acetyl group has been attached. The acetyl group is responsible for some of the benefits of acetyl-l-carnitine; acetyl groups are used to produce energy in the brain. L-carnitine also helps produce energy but through a different mechanism (oxidation of fat), so the combination of acetyl groups and L-carnitine make acetyl l-carnitine an especially good energizing compound free of any stimulant properties.
Acetyl-l-carnitine is used primarily to boost mental and physical energy, especially in older people.1 Acetyl-l-carnitine responders report increased memory2, concentration3 and mood4with continued use.
Like L-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine may improve heart health5, and have antioxidant properties6. Acetyl-l-carnitine may also improve sperm motility7, with positive effects on fertility.8
Use acetyl l-carnitine as directed. Be careful not to confuse acetyl-l-carnitine with N-acetylcysteine or L-carnitine.
May cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort. In those with a preexisting seizure disorder, acetyl-l-carnitine may increase the frequency and/or the severity of seizures. Consult your physician. Pregnant/nursing women should not take acetyl-l-carnitine supplements, as their safety has not been established.