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.
Other names for acetyl-L-carnitine include: acetyl-levocarnitine, acetylcarnitine, l-acetylcarnitine, levacecarnine, and ST-200.
Structurally, the difference between the acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) and L-carnitine (LC) is that ALC is an LC molecule that also contains an attached acetic acid group. This structural difference is small, but it produces a considerable difference in the biochemical properties of the molecule and, consequently, in its effects on metabolism. Acetyl-L-carnitine can substitute for L-carnitine in fat metabolism; however, as described below, recent studies have resulted in identification of several biological characteristics that are unique to acetyl-L-carnitine .
The acetyl group on acetyl-L-carnitine can be donated to a specific acceptor molecule, choline, to form the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps restore nerve function. This activity is believed to be at least partly responsible for the improved mental function that results from acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation in patients with cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and other disorders of the nervous system. Additional studies supporting a neuroprotective role for acetyl-L-carnitine are those demonstrating an improvement in symptoms of peripheral nerve damage common to diabetic patients
The acetyl group can also be utilized for the production of energy in the Krebs cycle. This donation increases the availability of an important cofactor (CoA) required for the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. Sufficient amounts of carnitine, derived from acetyl-L-carnitine, are necessary to transport, toxic, non-metabolizable, short-chain fatty acids, out of the mitochondria, and thus to free up the cofactor, CoA. A deficiency in acetyl-L-carnitine promotes a corresponding decrease in this cofactor, and consequently impaired energy production from both fats and carbohydrates, thus affecting energy levels in all cells of the body.
ALC, but not LC, has been demonstrated to protect the nervous system, partly because it more readily is transported into the nervous system. Recent studies with humans have indicated many of the age-associated disorders involving the nervous system, such as depression, impaired cognition, and decreased mental alertness, may be at least partially a response to a deficiency in ALC.
ALC, but not LC, protects the mitochondria. A recent finding demonstrated that a deficiency in ALC affects the structure and energy-producing capacity of the mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible for producing virtually all the energy required by the cell. Therefore any subtle change in their structure can have a tremendous effect on the cell's energy reserves. ALC has been demonstrated to revitalize mitochondria by restoring levels of a key mitochondrial component, a phospholipid known as cardiolipin, which is susceptible to age-associated reduction in levels. Cardiolipin can be envisioned as the glue that secures and organizes, or better yet, orchestrates, the energy-producing machinery of the mitochondria.
The acetic acid group on ALC allows it to enter the mitochondria more readily than LC and consequently more rapidly perform its beneficial effects An additional enzyme must act on LC before it can enter the mitochondria.
I prefer your starting the MSM and the chromium first, you must build up the MSM. When your taking 3000 mg of MSM a day then we add some others, like carnitine.
NOW, Pharma and Solgar are indeed the brands I recommend, but there are more brands that are good.
I found more then one firms in canada where you can buy acetyl carnitine,