Most consumers have known of L-carnitine and its uses/effects for a long time. Less well known, however, is acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC or ALCAR for short). In an additional manufacturing step an acetyl group is added to L-carnitine (acetylation). In the human body, L-carnitine ensures that long-chain fatty acids are transported to the mitochondria, where they are then burned to produce energy.
What does acetyl-L-carnitine do? The additional acetyl group increases the bioavailability of L-carnitine and it can pass through the human blood-brain barrier much more easily. The brain is also said to benefit from the additional acetyl group, as it is important for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The brain, thus, benefits doubly from an overall improvement in energy supply, meaning that, for example, in the relatively new product area of nootropics the possibilities for performance enhancement in the brain through acetyl-L-carnitine are often referred to. Some studies are also investigating a possible positive influence from acetyl-L-carnitine, especially in elderly people, in relation to the alleviation of depression.
As a dietary supplement in the areas of sports, diet and neuroenhancement/nootropics.