Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)

David Tomen
David Tomen
Jill Corleone, RD
Fact Checked:
Jill Corleone, RD
10 minute read
Acetyl-L-Carnitine may reverse age-related cognitive decline, boost energy, and improve memory.

Key Takeaways

  1. Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a synthesized version of L-Carnitine that enhances energy production, supports fat burning, and improves cognitive function.
  2. ALCAR facilitates fatty acid transport to mitochondria, boosts acetylcholine formation, and exhibits antioxidant properties.
  3. ALCAR benefits brain health by supporting mitochondrial function, protecting brain cells, and improving cerebral blood circulation.
  4. It has potential therapeutic effects on conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, depression, and mild cognitive impairment.
  5. ALCAR supplementation dosage recommendation is 500 – 1,500 mg per day depending on the desired goal.


Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR, ALC or LAC) is a synthesized version of L-Carnitine. Which is a derivative of the amino acids lysine and methionine.

ALCAR is more bioavailable than L-Carnitine. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. And delivers L-Carnitine across cell membranes and into your brain (which L-Carnitine would not be able to cross on its own).

L-Carnitine is naturally made in your liver and kidneys. And then transported to other tissues including your brain and heart.

ALCAR helps:

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) Overview

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that’s synthesized in your body. You also get it from red meat and dairy.

High quality Acetyl L-Carnitine is found naturally in grass-fed beef and mutton.L-Carnitine is considered a “conditionally essential” nutrient because when your body uses it faster than it can produce it, you need supplemental L-Carnitine either from food or a supplement.

L-Carnitine is used throughout your body. Here we’re talking about the Acetyl-L-Carnitine form of L-Carnitine because of its affects on brain health and chemistry.

L-Carnitine vs. Acetyl-L-Carnitine: What’s the Difference?

L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine are often referred to as Carnitine. But each are structurally different, and each has its advantages.

L-Carnitine: Helps produce energy within the mitochondria of your cells, but is not capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Supplemental L-Carnitine is difficult for your body to absorb; only 18% of it reaches your bloodstream.

L Carnitine supplements are favored by athletes and dieters who want Carnitine’s fat-metabolizing benefits. But are not seeking any brain benefits.

L-Carnitine chemical structure

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Is easier to absorb and used by your body than L-Carnitine. In one animal study, who were given 2 grams of ALCAR daily for 50 days, ALCAR boosted blood levels of ALCAR by 43%.[i]

Acetyl-L-Carnitine chemical structure


ALCAR does everything that L-Carnitine does, but by adding an acetyl group, it but can also cross the blood-brain barrier. In another animal study, researchers found that ALCAR supports mitochondrial function which then protects brain cells from oxidative stress, while L-Carnitine does not.[ii]

How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Work in the Brain?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.

  1. ALCAR boosts acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter tied to memory and overall brain function. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a precursor to acetylcholine in the presence of Coenzyme-A. Test tube studies shows that ALCAR donates a “methyl group” to help make acetylcholine.[iii]

Alzheimer’s-diseased brains show a 25% to 40% reduction in carnitine acetyltransferase, an enzyme that works with L-Carnitine & Acetyl-L-Carnitine.

This enzyme decline led researchers to link low ALCAR with low acetylcholine, and Alzheimer’s onset. They went on to suggest that the therapeutic properties of ALCAR supplementation is a viable therapy for brain regeneration.[iv]

  1. ALCAR promotes brain energy metabolism by supporting your brain cell’s mitochondria in creating ATP which is your main source of cellular energy.[v]

ALCAR works as a shuttle transport for fatty acids through cell membranes into mitochondria to assist with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis.[vi]

ALCAR is essential for fatty acid oxidation:

  • ALCAR shuttles fatty acids into mitochondria, for the creation of ATP.
  • ALCAR then shuttles fatty acids out of mitochondria, and flushes out tox ic byproducts.

ALCAR helps maintain mitochondrial function in nearly every cell of your body and brain.
ALCAR helps maintain mitochondrial function in nearly every cell of your body. Your brain consumes at least 20% of your body’s energy. And generates a lot of toxic byproducts as well as different chronic intermittent stressors. . So ALCAR supplementation is particularly important for a healthy brain.

How things go bad

As we get older, our brain chemistry and energy metabolism changes.[vii]

↓ Nerve growth factor in the brain declines

↓ Acetyl-L-Carnitine levels decline

↓ Acetylcholine levels decline

↓ Mitochondria loses efficiency

All of these age-related changes are contributing factors to cognitive impairment and the neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ALCAR Nootropic benefits

Animal research conducted at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that Acetyl-L-Carnitine will:[viii]

  • Restore efficient mitochondrial energy production
  • Replenish age-related changes to mitochondrial structure
  • Replenish ALCAR and acetylcholine levels in the brain and body

One of the most potent Acetyl-L-Carnitine benefits is that it has the ability to boost acetylcholine and rejuvenate brain cells (including mitochondria). This has been proven to benefit those with age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and major depressive symptoms.[ix]

And one animal study conducted in New Delhi showed that Acetyl L-Carnitine reduces lipofuscin in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum and thalamus.

How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine feel?

You may not feel ALCAR… unless you’re elderly, have low energy levels, or have Erectile Dysfunction. Within those specific groups, users of Acetyl-L-Carnitine report it helps with memory, mental fatigue, mood, mental performance and the ability to get and maintain an erection.

How does ALCAR make you feel?ALCAR’s brain support and its ability to support the mitochondria in your brain cells should boost cognition in all age and gender groups.

As a nootropic, ALCAR user reviews report a boost in energy and quicker thinking.

ALCAR Clinical Research

In one study, researchers showed that ALCAR may have beneficial effects for depression and dementia in the aging brain.[x]

Another study out of Italy; researchers showed that Acetyl-L-Carnitine stimulated the growth of new neurites. More of these minute projections from nerve cell bodies meant increased signaling between cells throughout the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).[xi]

And a study conducted at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that ALCAR has potential in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. By directly affecting mitochondrial respiration and assisting dopamine receptors and the use of dopamine in the brain.

ALCAR helps with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

A gold-standard double-blind, randomized controlled trial on 1,204 people showed significant effect on attention, mental performance, memory and higher mental functions.[xii]

In this study ALCAR seemed to ward off further brain deterioration. And could be considered as therapy for brain degeneration.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine slows rate of cognitive decline

130 Alzheimer’s patients were given ALCAR or a placebo daily for a year. They were tested across 14 points of cognitive performance.

This research showed a slower decline in cognitive performance with the ALCAR group compared to the placebo group.[xiii]

ALCAR effective for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

acetyl-l-carnitine helps reduce chronic fatigueAcetyl-L-Carnitine has been shown to improve fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study; 36 people were treated for 3 months with either amantadine (used to treat Chronic Fatigue), or 1 gram of ALCAR twice daily.

The results of the study showed that ALCAR was better tolerated and more effective for brain function than the pharmaceutical for fatigue.[xiv]

Acetyl-L-Carnitine protects from oxidative damage of Ecstasy (MDMA)

Research has shown ALCAR to be effective in protecting your mitochondria from oxidative stress. But these guys took it a step further.

Male rats were given Acetyl-L-Carnitine before a dose of Ecstasy (MDMA). ALCAR pretreatment “exerts effective neuroprotection against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity at the mitochondrial level”, said the researchers.[xv]

Keep that in mind before your next party.

ALCAR for Erectile Dysfunction?

Carnitine versus androgen administration. In this study, 120 patients were split into 3 groups. Group 1 was given 160 mg of testosterone per day. The 2nd group was given 2 grams of Propionyl-L-Carnitine plus 2 grams of Acetyl L Carnitine hcl per day. And the 3rd group a placebo.

Did you know that there’s an International Index of Erectile Function?

Turns out the Propionyl-L-Carnitine/Acetyl-L-Carnitine stack was better than testosterone for sexual dysfunction. Without the side effects of an enlarged prostate, better orgasms, more sexual desire and improved mood.[xvi]

Propionyl-L-Carnitine chemical structure


ALCAR Recommended Dosage

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine suggested dosage for cognitive benefits is 1 – 4 grams per day.
  • For improved mood and elimination of chronic fatigue, 1 – 3 grams of ALCAR per day.
  • For age-related memory concerns, 1 – 2 grams of ALCAR per day.

ALCAR is water-soluble and can be taken on an empty stomach with water. A few supplement manufacturers recommend taking their Acetyl-L-Carnitine with a meal. Which may imply that it’s fat-soluble although I’ve found no evidence in the scientific literature.

ALCAR Side Effects

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is produced naturally in your body. So is considered well-tolerated and safe.

Side effects are rare but can include nausea, vomiting, increased agitation, weight loss, and restlessness.

You can also see an increase in seizure frequency if you have any kind of seizure disorder.

ALCAR and thyroid hormones. L-carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell. Which means ALCAR supplementation may make thyroid hormone replacement therapy less effective. But could also help someone suffering from hyperthyroidism.

Types of ALCAR to buy

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine with an extra acetyl group. This version of l carnitine is more bioavailable and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
  • L-Carnitine: This is the standard form of l carnitine found in food.
  • Lipo-Carn®: A proprietary blend of Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Studies show this combination is a powerful anti-aging duo.
    Performance Lab Energy contains an effective dose of ALCAR
    Performance Lab Energy contains an effective dose of ALCAR

    Together, these two help combat diabetes, glucose metabolism, boost energy production, lower high blood pressure, fat metabolism, maintain proper cognitive function, protects the body from radiation and chemical toxins and helps immunity.[xvii]

  • Propionyl-L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine combined with propionic acid. This form is noted for its antioxidant activity, reducing oxidative stress biomarkers, and is used for heart health applications. Also useful for erectile dysfunction.
  • Biosint™ is pharmaceutical grade Acetyl-L-Carnitine that is manufactured in Italy by Sigma Tau HealthSciences

You can also get 500 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine, 100 mg BioEnhanced R-Lipoic Acid, 100 mg CoQ10, 10 mg BioPQQ®, and 2.5 mg BioPerine® in one dose of my favorite energy supplement Performance Lab® Energy.

Nootropics Expert Recommendation

Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500 – 1,500 mg per day

Nootropics Expert Tested and Approved I recommend using Acetyl-L-Carnitine as a nootropic supplement.

Your body does synthesize some ALCAR on its own. And from the food you eat. But most L-Carnitine comes from red meat. And unless you eat a lot of great quality grass-fed beef or mutton you can not produce sufficient amounts, and likely have an Acetyl-L-Carnitine deficiency.

ALCAR is especially helpful for those suffering from age-related cognitive decline. Studies show it helps stop or reverse brain degeneration with Alzheimer’s Disease, and geriatric depression. Particularly in the early stages of the disease.

I suggest starting with a dose of 500 mg ALCAR daily. ALCAR is a great compliment to a stack including any of the racetams. Take enough Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline to eliminate a racetam-induced headache. Then add 500 mg of ALCAR.

Some have found ALCAR stacked with Coenzyme Q-10 has a profound effect on everything from mood to bipolar disorder. Especially combined with Alpha-Lipoic Acid.|

You can also get 500 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine, 100 mg BioEnhanced R-Lipoic Acid, 100 mg CoQ10, 10 mg BioPQQ®, and 2.5 mg BioPerine® in one dose of my favorite energy supplement Performance Lab® Energy.

Age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s may want to up the dose to 1,500 mg per day.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Rebouche C.J. “Kinetics, pharmacokinetics, and regulation of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine metabolism.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2004 Nov;1033:30-41. (source)

[ii] Liu J., Head E., Kuratsune H., Cotman C.W., Ames B.N. “Comparison of the effects of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine on carnitine levels, ambulatory activity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in the brain of old rats.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences2004 Nov;1033:117-31. (source)

[iii] White H.L., Scates P.W. “Acetyl-L-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine.” Neurochemical Research 1990 Jun;15(6):597-601. (source)

[iv] Kalaria R.N., Harik S.I. “Carnitine acetyltransferase activity in the human brain and its microvessels is decreased in Alzheimer’s disease.”Annals of Neurology 1992 Oct;32(4):583-6. (source)

[v] Berg J.M., Tymoczko J.L., Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. (source)

[vi] Berg J.M., Tymoczko J.L., Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. (source)

[vii] Costell M., O’Connor J.E., Grisolía S. “Age-dependent decrease of carnitine content in muscle of mice and humans.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 1989 Jun 30;161(3):1135-43. (source)

[viii] Gomez L.A., Heath S.D., Hagen T.M. “Acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation reverses the age-related decline in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) activity in interfibrillar mitochondria without changing the L-carnitine content in the rat heart” Mechanics of Aging Development 2012 Feb-Mar; 133(0): 99–106. (source)

[ix] Pettegrew J.W., Levine J., McClure R.J. “Acetyl-L-carnitine physical-chemical, metabolic, and therapeutic properties: relevance for its mode of action in Alzheimer’s disease and geriatric depression.” Molecular Psychiatry 2000 Nov;5(6):616-32. (source)

[x] Ferrari F., Gorini A., Villa R.F. “Functional proteomics of synaptic plasma membrane ATP-ases of rat hippocampus: effect of l-acetylcarnitine and relationships with Dementia and Depression pathophysiology.” European Journal of Pharmacology 2015 Jun 5;756:67-74. (source)

[xi] Taglialatela G., Navarra D., Olivi A., Ramacci M.T., Werrbach-Perez K., Perez-Polo J.R., Angelucci L. “Neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells stimulated by acetyl-L-carnitine arginine amide.” Neurochemical Research 1995 Jan;20(1):1-9. (source)

[xii] Montgomery S.A., Thal L.J., Amrein R. “Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease” International Clinical Psychopharmacology 2003 Mar;18(2):61-71. (source)

[xiii] Spagnoli A. et. Al. “Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease.” Neurology. 1991 Nov;41(11):1726-32. (source)

[xiv] Tomassini V., Pozzilli C., Onesti E., Pasqualetti P., Marinelli F., Pisani A., Fieschi C. “Comparison of the effects of acetyl L-carnitine and amantadine for the treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: results of a pilot, randomized, double-blind, crossover trial.” Journal of Neurological Science 2004 Mar 15;218(1-2):103-8. (source)

[xv] Alves E. et. Al “Acetyl-l-carnitine provides effective in vivo neuroprotection over 3,4-methylenedioximethamphetamine-induced mitochondrial neurotoxicity in the adolescent rat brain” Cellular Neuroscience Volume 158, Issue 2, 23 January 2009, Pages 514–523 (source)

[xvi] Cavallini G., Caracciolo S., Vitali G., Modenini F., Biagiotti G. “Carnitine versus androgen administration in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue associated with male aging.”Urology 2004 Apr;63(4):641-6. (source)

[xvii] Liu J., Head E., Gharib A.M., Yuan W., Ingersoll R.T., Hagen T.M., Cotman C.W., Ames B.N. “Memory loss in old rats is associated with brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation: partial reversal by feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha -lipoic acid.” Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2002 Feb 19;99(4):2356-61. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 358 comments

June 6, 2018

How much for shipping ypur book “Head First” to Norway?
Bert regards


    David Tomen
    June 6, 2018

    Harald, Head First is a digital book and you can download it in whatever version you require for your ebook reader.

May 11, 2018

I have both ALCAR and L-Carnitine. I bought L-Carnitine (2 bottles) before coming across your site. I was wondering if I can take both L-Carnitine and ALCAR at the same time. I really don’t want to throw away the L-Carnitine if I don’t have to. Do you think I should just throw away the L-Carnitine and count my loses?

Last ques: I notice in one pic you had the vitacost brand of ALCAR pills and those were the ones I bought. Then I noticed in another pic you have the primaforce ALCAR powder. Should i have not bought the brand of pills and gone with the other brand and powder?

    David Tomen
    May 11, 2018

    Pati, I use both L-Carnitine and ALCAR and you can too with no problem. You just may want to cut back your dose of both. I use ALCAR for my brain. And L-Carnitine helps L-Arginine work for better erections. But they clearly both provide carnitine.

    ALCAR is popular with the sports and athletic community so is supplied by manufacturers who sell to the athletic market, nootropics community or both. So there are more suppliers to choose from. After I qualify a manufacturer, in this case I look at reviews to find out which supplement is preferred. And since I make my own capsules, which one is available in powder form.

March 23, 2018

does ALCAR need to be cycled or can we become resistant to it?

    David Tomen
    March 23, 2018

    JB, ALCAR is a version of carnitine which is an essential nutrient in your body. If you became “resistant” to it you would die. So no, it does not need to be cycled. ALCAR is the kind of nootropic that you can dose 3 or 4 times a day for the rest of your life.

      December 12, 2018

      Congratulations Mr Tomen,
      A question: my understanding is that the extensive use (chronic, daily basis) use of some amino acids can lead to the depletion or imbalance of some others .
      This is the case for Tyrosine for instance, So.. Does ALCAR represent a risk in this aspect ?.
      Best regards

        David Tomen
        December 13, 2018

        Roman, excess tyrosine can deplete serotonin. But supplementing with ALCAR even at higher doses does not seem to negatively affect other neurotransmitters or amino acid levels.

February 10, 2018

I have weird problem with ALCAR.
When I am taking it, I feel no effect (low dosage – 500 mg), or I am becoming tired (1000-1500 mg dosage).

What can be the problem?

    David Tomen
    February 10, 2018

    Thomas, it could be the ALCAR is simply not for you. If a higher dosage of ALCAR causes fatigue it usually means too much acetylcholine. Same thing happens when using too much Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.

January 22, 2018

Hi David,

Thanks for all the information! I’m really enjoying your videos and texts. Could you give me your opinion on my case, please?

I’m 27 and I was recently diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (I’m not taking any specific treatment), I’ve been taking vitamin D for 2 months (5000 i.u.) and started to feel dizzy, so I stopped.

I have always been a very positive and communicative person, but I have been feeling anxious, discouraged, with repetitive negative thoughts, and difficulty in sleeping. Three days ago I started taking a supplement (below follow the composition) to boost my mood and cognition (since I’m a student). After taking the supplement and a coffee this morning I was feeling very happy (more than usual) however, after ~1 hour I started feeling very accelerated and with a bad feeling, especially after taking a strong tea (high caffeine concentration). This sensation lasted for about 1hour. Actually, I have an accelerated metabolism and sometimes if I take like 2 or more coffees I feel very accelerated (my heart too) and with a bad feeling. However, I drink a cup of coffee every morning and it’s ok.

Do you thinking the supplements I’m taking could be bad for me?

Thank you! Nayara
Acetyl-L-Carnitine 100 mg,
L-theanine 100 mg,
Taurine 100 mg,
caffeine 75 mg,
Vitamin C 40 mg,
Vitamin B3 32 mg,
Zinc 20 mg,
Vitamin B5 12 mg,
Vitamin B6 7,98 mg
Vitamin B1 3,3 mg
Vitamin B2 2,8 ug
Folate 100 ug
Vitamin B7 100 ug
Selenium 82,5 ug
Vitamin B12 20 ug
Omega 3 893 mg (EPA 410 mg/DHA 250 mg)
Vitamin E 6 mg
Vitamin D3 25 ug
Magnesium citrate 2x 150 mg

    David Tomen
    January 22, 2018

    Nayara, The dosage of each of the supplements you are taking in this stack are very low. So low in fact that most will not provide much therapeutic benefit at all. On a more positive note, the synergy with many of these compounds working together will boost their effectiveness somewhat. It is certainly not “bad” for you.

    It seems caffeine is causing you problems. You already have the equivalent of the caffeine dose of one coffee in this supplement. It sounds like you are having a negative reaction from additional caffeine. You can counteract this effect by using L-Theanine. Either with a L-Theanine supplement. Or preferably drinking 3 or 4 cups of green tea throughout your day. See my review on L-Theanine here on Nootropics Expert.

    This is what I would do if I was diagnosed with MS. I would learn everything I could about this disease. What causes it, and what it is doing to my body and brain. Study it until I understood what is going on. Then look for ways to either “fix” it or keep it under control.

    Multiple sclerosis involves the loss of a specific type of cell that is required for making myelin. Myelin is the sheath surrounding axons in your brain and body. Axons send signals between neurons. Think of myelin as electrical tape wrapped around an electrical wire which protects the wire. If the electrical tape is removed, the wire is exposed and can short-circuit. And quickly burn out.

    This destruction of myelin seems to be caused by your autoimmune system attacking this myelin sheath because it identifies it as the enemy.

    I’m not a doctor. Don’t even play one on TV. This is my understanding of MS after about 30 minutes of research before responding to your question. My point is this…

    Learn all you can about this disease. Then use resources like Nootropics Expert to search for ways to boost your immune system. And keep the inflammatory proteins that attack myelin in check. Then look for ways to rebuild myelin.

    Ashwagandha for example helps regenerate axons and dendrites of brain nerve cells. And helps reconstruct synapses, the junctions where nerve cells communicate with other cells.

    Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) inhibits proinflammatory gene expression. You need Vitamin B6 to help control inflammation in your brain. B6 suppresses the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The inflammation that is likely contributing to myelin destruction.

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) also contributes to the production of the enzyme PDH which is essential for making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. And for the synthesis of myelin, which forms a sheath around the axons of neurons.

    “Feeling anxious, discouraged, with repetitive negative thoughts, and difficulty in sleeping” is a perfectly natural reaction to being diagnosed with something like MS. The best way to turn this around is to do whatever you can to take back control of your own health. You can do this. I did and it saved my life. I’m not saying that you can completely “heal” yourself. But taking back control as you are starting to do will make all the difference. And take action with what you learn.

Jay August
May 2, 2017

I’ve found ACAL a great supp to stack with my other brain boosters, and the effects are very notieable with and without ACAL. However if I go beyond 500g a day I get excessive blood thinning and my nose literally pours a watery blood. I take nothing else that thins my blood but I have noticed a similar effect from some other amino forms and also taurine, so I assume I am one of those with a natural tendency to have thin blood.

    David Tomen
    May 2, 2017

    Jay, blood thinning is one of the few side effects of using ALCAR. Thanks for your comment.

      August 23, 2018

      I am hemophiliac, so I can’t take it, right?

        David Tomen
        August 23, 2018

        ALCAR boosts blood flow but does not ‘thin’ the blood. So please check with your doctor before trying Acetyl-L-Carnitine.

April 8, 2017

Hi David,

Thanks for the great information, can you tell me if better to take ALCAR with food or on an empty stomach. My web research is yielding mixed results.

    David Tomen
    April 8, 2017

    Paul, I’m editing this comment because according to the clinical study linked below, ALCAR is water soluble. And the researcher’s advice on the very last line of this study says, “Carnitine supplements are therefore likely to be much better absorbed on an empty stomach!

November 27, 2016

I was wondering why a basic piece of information regarding the use of the various supplements (i.e. Water or fat soluble ) is rarely provided anywhere, including from the suppliers of the nootropics themselves.


    David Tomen
    December 2, 2016

    Michael, not an easy question to answer. I imagine some of the marketing people for these companies are not aware of fat- vs. water-soluble.

    A few supplement makers include in a supplement’s directions to take it with a meal. The implication there is that the meal provides enough fat for the supplement to be absorbed by your body.

    It’s really up to every neurohacker to become very familiar with each supplement in their stack. And find out if it’s water- or fat-soluble. I’ve included that information in the “Dosage Notes” section of each nootropic written about here on Nootropics Expert. Hope that helps.

      August 19, 2020

      I get my Acetyl Carnitine from an online Canadian health food store. Bulk Supplements plus shipping to Canada plus duties adds up to mucho dollars.
      I am hesitant to use R-Lipoic acid as I have read about it chelating heavy metals and I don’t want to get into that boat until i can think straight.
      Q10 I am taking, 100mg twice daily, but I find it has some effect which drops off, and if I stop taking it for a few months then start again it (sometimes) again has some effect.
      I have not tried PQQ, but i have tried many of the supplements on this website, many to not much effect.
      Some examples include Creatine, DHA, 5-HTP, Glutamine, Theanine, Magnesium, Acetyl Cysteine, Picamilon, SAM-E, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, some B Vitamins.

        David Tomen
        August 19, 2020

        Bob, what kind of “effect” are you looking for?

        August 20, 2020

        It seems my reply somehow got attached to the wrong post, i was trying to reply to my original post above which explains the issue.

        David Tomen
        August 21, 2020

        Bob, I tracked down your original question in this thread. And I think what you are asking for are suggestions where you’ll feel the “effect” of what you take. And in my opinion you are asking the wrong question. I am of the opinion that we use nootropics to fix whatever needs fixing. And get what’s up there working better. More like how it was designed to work.

        For example, the combination of ALCAR, R-Lipoic Acid, CoQ10 and PQQ that you find in Performance Lab Energy ($50) used every day means you have a month of at least a few hours every day of clean, pure energy. I don’t mean like drinking a Red Bull or cup of coffee. I mean clean energy to help you get through your day.

        And depending on your health condition and age, you may want to use the full dose twice per day. One dose around 8 AM and another around noon.

        You mentioned earlier that you hesitated using R-Lipoic Acid because you “read somewhere” that it could chelate heavy metals. Please do not believe everything you read on the Internet. Because a lot of it, especially in the dietary supplement world, is based on one person’s opinion. And not based on science. That’s why more and more are coming to Nootropics Expert every day. To get the facts.

        What exactly are you trying to achieve? If you have tried “many of the supplements on this website” with no success. I suggest a different strategy. Consider setting up a consultation with me. And we’ll work through your issues in detail. And put together a stack that will work for you.

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