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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 14992-62-2
ATC code N06BX12
PubChem 1
Chemical data
Formula C9H17NO4 
Mol. mass 203.236
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life  ?
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status
Routes  ?

Acetyl-L-carnitine or ALCAR, is an acetylated form of L-carnitine. ALCAR has been claimed to be superior to normal L-carnitine in terms of bioavailability. However, at least one study has suggested that the acetylated form may have a lower oral bioavailability.[1]

It is claimed that ALCAR provides several benefits. Advocates of acetyl-L-carnitine market it as a life extension supplement. There may be some benefit in cases of end stage renal disease or peripheral arterial disease.[2] When supplemented alongside Lipoic acid, ALCAR appears to reverse some of the damage to mitochondria associated with aging.[3]

The percentage of L-carnitine that is absorbed when taken via oral supplementation is much lower than that from food sources. In one particular study, it was shown that approximately 20% of orally supplemented L-carnitine is absorbed, with a bioavailability of roughly 15%, as compared to a bioavailability of between 60% and 75% when absorbed from food.[4]

Choline supplementation may lead to increased L-carnitine retention.[4]

ALCAR supplementation has been shown to be neuroprotective in instances of cerebral ischemia,[5] periphiral nerve injury,[6] and to be beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson's disease in animals.[7]

ALCAR supplementation has also been shown to reverse syptoms associated with mental decline in the eldery.[8]

ALCAR is being researched in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.[9]


  1. ^ Eder, K.; et Al. (2005). "Free and total carnitine concentrations in pig plasma after oral ingestion of various L-carnitine compounds". Int J Vitam Nutr Res 75 (1): 3-9. Retrieved on 2007-3-13.
  2. ^ Brass, Eric P.; William R. Hiatt (1998). "The Role of Carnitine and Carnitine Supplementation During Exercise in Man and in Individuals with Special Needs". Journal of the American College of Nutrition 17 (3): 207-215. Retrieved on 2007-3-13.
  3. ^ Ames, B. N.; J. Liu (2005). "Delaying the mitochondrial decay of aging with acetylcarnitine". Ann N Y Acad Sci 1033 (1): 108-16. Retrieved on 2007-3-13.
  4. ^ a b L-Carnitine. PRD Health. Thompson Healthcare. Retrieved on 2007-3-13.
  5. ^ Zanelli, Santina A.; Nina J. Solenski, Robert E. Rosenthal, and Gart Fiskum (2005). "Mechanisms of ischemic neuroprotection by acetyl-L-carnitine". Ann N Y Acad Sci 1053: 153-161. Retrieved on 2007-3-14.
  6. ^ Wilsona, Andrew; Andrew Harta, Thomas Brännströmf, Mikael Wiberga, and Giorgio Terenghi (2007). "Delayed acetyl-l-carnitine administration and its effect on sensory neuronal rescue after peripheral nerve injurystar, open". J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 60 (2). Retrieved on 2007-3-14.
  7. ^ Beal, Flint (2003). "Bioenergetic approaches for neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease". Ann Neurol 53 (S3): S39-S48. Retrieved on 2007-3-14.
  8. ^ Salvioli, G; Neri, M (1994). "L-acetylcarnitine treatment of mental decline in the elderly". Drugs Exp Clin Res 20 (4): 169-76. Retrieved on 2007-3-14.
  9. ^ Hafiz, Mohmmad Abdul; Vittorio Calabrese, Menotti Calvani, and D. Allan Butterfield (2006). "Acetyl-L-carnitine-induced up-regulation of heat shock proteins protects cortical neurons against amyloid-beta peptide 1-42-mediated oxidative stress and neurotoxicity: Implications for Alzheimer's disease". J Neurosci Res 84 (2): 398 - 408. Retrieved on 2007-3-14.

Other reviews

  • Jane Higdon, "L-Carnitine", Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute
  • "Carnitine (L-carnitine)", University of Maryland Medical Center
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Acetylcarnitine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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