What is Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR)?
Acetyl l-carnitine (ALCAR) is an amino acid and acetylated form of l-carnitine. The body can make, modify, and work with amino acids to perform numerous biological functions. ALCAR is essential for energy production. The body uses acetyl l-carnitine for energy by facilitating fatty acid transport to the mitochondria and powering the citric acid cycle. The citric acid cycle requires coenzyme A (CoA) to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which cells use to power many reactions. ALCAR can donate its attached acetyl group to recharge de-acylated CoA. The acetyl group also gives ALCAR an edge over l-carnitine. Research shows that ALCAR has superior antioxidant properties compared to l-carnitine, as it is much more effective at reducing oxidative damage.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a saturated fatty acid that also supports energy production. It’s essential for cellular respiration, which is how the body breaks down nutrients to produce ATP in bulk amounts. It acts as a neuroprotector and antioxidant by scavenging free radicals and enhancing nerve function. It also boosts the levels of other important antioxidants like glutathione.
Potential ALCAR and ALA Benefits
ALCAR and ALA both have antioxidant properties that may enhance longevity. ALCAR production declines with age, which may result in increased oxidative damage. Long-term oxidative damage can worsen or result in numerous diseases, promote inflammation, and age cells prematurely. Taking ALCAR and ALA helps boost ALCAR levels and the availability of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most potent natural antioxidants produced in the body. It scavenges free radicals and regulates redox reactions. ALCAR can also provide more acetyl for acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory and learning. ALCAR/ALA supplements may benefit athletes as the combination reduces exercise-induced oxidative damage.
ALCAR/ALA Supplements for Energy
Both ALCAR and ALA are essential for producing energy. ALCAR and ALA work together synergistically to enhance mitochondrial function for superior energy production. Animal studies show that ALCAR supplements enhance mitochondrial energy output while ALA protects against mitochondrial damage.
ALCAR/ALA Supplements for Mood
Individuals with mood disorders often have insulin resistance. Insufficient insulin can lead to or worsen mood disorders, as it delivers tryptophan to the brain for serotonin synthesis. Both tryptophan and serotonin help regulate mood. Alpha lipoic acid increases insulin sensitivity, which may improve moods. ALCAR has also proven effective at improving moods in several human trials. Mood disorders can cause cognitive deficits and a decline in cognitive function. ALCAR and ALA supplements may attenuate this through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and metabolic reactions.
Potential ALCAR/ALA Side Effects
Most individuals tolerate ALCAR and ALA supplements well. Some may experience mild side effects, such as headache, nausea, stomach cramps, or itching. Individuals with a history of seizures should not take ALCAR supplements. Individuals taking blood pressure medication should consult a physician before taking ALCAR/ALA supplements, as they may reduce blood pressure. Individuals taking medication to manage their blood sugar should consult with their doctor before taking ALCAR/ALA, as ALA may interact with those medications.
How to Take ALCAR/ALA
ALCAR/ALA supplements work best when taken on an empty stomach. PureBulk carries ALCAR/ALA in powder and capsule form. Individuals may prefer the capsule form as ALA has a strong and unpleasant taste.
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