The Best Carnitine for Your Brain

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine offers a better absorbed form of L-Carnitine
  • Provides cognitive support in neurological dysfunction
  • Helps relieve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy
Corn Free
Gluten Free
Soy Free

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ALCAR is N-acetyl-L-carnitine, a form of L-carnitine found ubiquitously in mammalian tissues that is important for energy production. Extensive research has documented ALCAR’s ability to improve mitochondrial function, sperm production and energy production. ALCAR is unique because it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than L-carnitine, making it more effective for enhancing cognitive function. Research has found ALCAR to be capable of reducing the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment by improving memory, attention, mood and other cognitive functions. Amazingly, the positive cognitive effects seem to persist even after stopping short-term supplementation.

ALCAR can also increase L-carnitine levels in those who are deficient due to factors such as the use of certain medications, disease, a strict vegetarian diet, and heart or circulatory conditions. Some people use L-carnitine for athletic performance and endurance as it promotes energy production and proper fat burning. Muscle fatigue, male infertility (due to poor sperm health), Rett syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, anorexia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), thyroid imbalances, leg ulcers, high cholesterol and Lyme disease are all common conditions that may benefit from ALCAR supplementation.

ALCAR is beneficial for people of all walks of life including the young, middle-aged and elderly, vegetarians, infertility patients, brain rehab patients, those experiencing chronic fatigue and athletes. Since the benefits remain after one stops taking it, it is a worthwhile investment with good returns for anyone looking for additional memory, metabolic and general health support.




ALCAR is N-acetyl-L-carnitine, the form of L-carnitine that is the most abundant in the body. ALCAR readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and helps to reduce fatigue, support cognitive function in the elderly, maintain cognitive function during aging and even relieve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.


AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, corn, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal byproduct.

Adult Dosage

Take 2-4 capsules daily with food, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner. A minimum of 3 months may be required before observing an effect.


This product provides 1.59 g of single amino acid per day. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have liver or kidney disease, have been instructed to follow a low protein diet, if symptoms persist or worsen or for use beyond 6 months. Feelings of overstimulation and/or sleeplessness may occur, in which case discontinue use if symptoms persist or worsen. Low incidence of seizures has been reported with oral doses in individuals with or without a pre-existing seizure disorder. Mild gastrointestinal symptoms (transient nausea,
vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea) have been reported. Body odour, flatulence, increased appetite or rash may occur.

Main Applications
  • Cognitive Support
  • Neurological Health
  • Chronic Fatigue

The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.

Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine (HCl)
500 mg

Non-medical Ingredients: sodium stearyl fumarate. Capsule: hypromellose.


Why Carnitine?

L-carnitine itself an amino acid synthesized by the body or obtained from red meat – particularly lamb. L-carnitine deficiency is thus quite common among vegetarians or those who avoid red meat. L-carnitine plays a central role in the breakdown of long-chain fatty acids and their transport into the mitochondria for oxidation and use in the production of cellular energy. This makes L-carnitine essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism, which is critical for avoiding many age and lifestyle-associated disorders like Metabolic Syndrome, blood sugar dysregulation, cardiovascular disease, and others.

ALCAR vs. L-Carnitine

ALCAR is N-acetyl levocarnitine, an acetylized ester of the amino acid L-carnitine. This ester is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and neural cell membranes more readily than conventional L-carnitine. It has been suggested that ALCAR is a more bioavailable form of L-carnitine, and also has cognitive benefits associated with it that are not attributed to regular L-carnitine.

ALCAR for Brain and Neuronal Support

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a key mitochondrial metabolite needed by these cellular “power plants” to drive nerve cell metabolism. ALCAR helps shuttle fatty acids into the mitochondrial furnaces for burning, and maintains youthful levels of cardiolipin, a unique phospholipid required for mitochondrial bioenergetics. It is for that reason that N-acetyl levocarnitine has been extensively studied for its efficacy in addressing the symptoms of numerous forms of neurological dysfunction and cognitive degeneration. However, young healthy minds have also been clinically shown to benefit from ALCAR’s effects.

ALCAR is beneficial for people of all walks of life including the young, middle-aged and elderly, vegetarians, brain rehab patients, and the list goes on. Better yet, the positive cognitive effects seem to persist after ceasing short-term supplementation! This makes it a worthwhile investment with good returns for anyone looking for additional cognitive, metabolic and general health support.

ALCAR Combined with R( )-Lipoic Acid

ALCAR is best combined with R( )-lipoic acid. R( )-Lipoic Acid improves the efficiency of mitochondrial function, while preventing the age-related increase in free radical production which is exacerbated when ALCAR is taken alone.


Support for Young, Healthy Brains

Numerous controlled clinical trials attest to its use in a variety of cognitive disorders and in brain function in young, healthy adults; the standard dose is from 1500 to 3000 milligrams per day. One study on 1.5g of ALCAR supplementation in young adult subjects aged 22-27 for 1 month found that test subjects had better reflexes than controls to an auditory stimulus, and test subjects also demonstrated 3-4 times greater efficiency in navigating a video-game maze than controls.

ALCAR for the Elderly and Fatigued

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled 6-month study on elderly subjects in their 70s complaining of fatigue and having chronic fatigue symptoms, ALCAR administered at 2g twice daily was found to significantly improve physical fatigue, muscle pain, post-exercise fatigue, mental fatigue, the severity of the fatigue, sleep disorders, cognitive functions (measured by a MMSE, or mini mental state examination), chronic fatigue symptoms such as headache, sore throat, painful lymph nodes and joints, and overall functional status.

ALCAR for CVA Rehabilitation

ALCAR enhances rehabilitation following acute cerebral circulatory insufficiency compared with a placebo. Significant differences between the drug and placebo were found in memory, number and word tests and in the responses to simple stimuli and the performance of the maze test.

ALCAR for the Metabolic Syndrome

A 6 month pilot study on non-diabetic subjects at risk for decreased insulin sensitivity measuring the effects of taking 2g/day of oral ALCAR found improvements in systolic blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance and hypoadiponectinemia (adiponectin is a protein hormone that helps regulate glucose and is inversely correlated to the risk of metabolic syndrome). Such improvements occurred only in those whose measures were further from the norm. Chronic acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation might correct unbalanced energy substrate utilization (fats versus carbohydrates) by modulating the expression of glycolytic and gluconeogenic enzymes. It would also ameliorate mitochondrial glucose oxidation, acting as a transport molecule for free fatty acids and as an important acetyl-group donor in high-energy metabolism and free fatty acid b-oxidation.

The ALCAR Treatment Effect Persists

One single-blind clinical trial found that significant effects, such as improved emotional-affective and relational behavior as well as cognitive performance such as memory, persisted after 1 month of ceasing the 3-month testing period of 1500mg of ALCAR per day.

ALCAR Combined with R( )-Lipoic Acid

The appropriate dose of R( )-Lipoic Acid for use in combination with ALCAR is 500 milligrams and up. In recent animal experiments, Drs. Bruce Ames and Tory Hagen demonstrated that the ALCAR/ R( )-Lipoic Acid “stack” reverses much age-associated memory loss, and the underlying brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation.

Market Trends

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is typically known to be a better absorbed form of L-Carnitine that is mostly used for brain health, while regular L-Carnitine tends to be known as a weight loss supplement.

AOR Advantage

AOR offers products for both L-Carnitine and ALCAR. Take your pick! However, have a good look at the clinical evidence for both products to dispel any myths regarding differences in usage and absorption.


Furlong JH. Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Metabolism and applications in clinical practice. Altern Med Rev 1996;1:85-93.

Liu J, Head E, Gharib AM, Yuan W, Ingersoll RT, Hagen TM, Cotman CW, Ames BN. 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. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Feb 19; 99(4): 2356-61.

Montgomery SA, Thal LJ, 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. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2003 Mar; 18(2): 61-71.

Rai G, Wright G, Scott L, et al. Double-blind, placebo controlled study of acetyl-l-carnitine in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. Curr Med Res Opin 1990;11:638-647. Shigenaga MK, Hagen TM and Ames BN. Oxidative damage and mitochondrial decay in aging. 1994. PNAS; 91(23): 10771-10778.

Spagnoli A, Lucca U, Menasce G, et al. Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology. 1991;41:1726-1732.


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.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Feb 19; 99(4): 2356-61.

Liu J, Head E, Gharib AM, Yuan W, Ingersoll RT, Hagen TM, Cotman CW, Ames BN.

Accumulation of oxidative damage to mitochondria, protein, and nucleic acid in the brain may lead to neuronal and cognitive dysfunction. The effects on cognitive function, brain mitochondrial structure, and biomarkers of oxidative damage were studied after feeding old rats two mitochondrial metabolites, acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) [0.5% or 0.2% (wt/vol) in drinking water], and/or R-alpha-lipoic acid (LA) [0.2% or 0.1% (wt/wt) in diet]. Spatial memory was assessed by using the Morris water maze; temporal memory was tested by using the peak procedure (a time-discrimination procedure). Dietary supplementation with ALCAR and/or LA improved memory, the combination being the most effective for two different tests of spatial memory (P < 0.05; P < 0.01) and for temporal memory (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis showed that oxidative damage to nucleic acids (8-hydroxyguanosine and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine) increased with age in the hippocampus, a region important for memory. Oxidative damage to nucleic acids occurred predominantly in RNA. Dietary administration of ALCAR and/or LA significantly reduced the extent of oxidized RNA, the combination being the most effective. Electron microscopic studies in the hippocampus showed that ALCAR and/or LA reversed age-associated mitochondrial structural decay. These results suggest that feeding ALCAR and LA to old rats improves performance on memory tasks by lowering oxidative damage and improving mitochondrial function.

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