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What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate?

author image Allison Adams
Allison Adams has worked as a registered dietitian since 1996. She began writing professionally in 2000, with work featured in a variety of medical publications such as "Women's Health Magazine" and the "New England Journal of Medicine." Adams holds a Master of Science in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate?
A man is drinking a sports supplement. Photo Credit: Minerva Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Acetyl L-carnitine arginate is an amino acid that helps your body produce energy. According to “User’s Guide to Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine,” ALCAR specifically supports heart and brain function, muscle movement, and different body processes. Additionally, ALCAR has strong antioxidant and neuroprotective properties that help protect your brain cells from deterioration. As a supplement, ALCAR can have a stimulating effect, so you should always start with a small dose to see how your body responds. As a stimulating health supplement, you should also consult with a medical professional prior to taking ALCAR.

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How Does ALCAR Work?

ALCAR crosses the blood-brain barrier, meaning the supplement will affect your brain blood circulation. Therefore, ALCAR has an immediate effect as an antioxidant. According to “User’s Guide to Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine,” ALCAR may also have some benefits in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and treating patients with sustained peripheral nerve injury. ALCAR also supports sperm motility, your sperm's ability to move. The more active your sperm, the higher the chance of successful reproduction.


According to “User’s Guide to Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine,” the most physically noticeable benefit of ALCAR is the increased alertness and mental clarity that the supplement provides. Individuals who use alcohol and take ALCAR supplements report a dramatic increase in memory during periods of drinking. Further, type 2 diabetics who take ALCAR supplements report the reduction of nerve pain or neuropathy caused by the diabetes. Moreover, ALCAR can reduce the pain and halt the progression of Peyronies’s disease, a connective tissue disorder of the soft tissue of the penis.


Because of the stimulant effects of ALCAR, determining your optimal dosage will depend on your body’s response to the supplement. As a health supplement, the Food and Drug Administration has not established a recommended dose, and the dose recommended by product manufacturers may cause unintended side effects in many individuals. Side effects associated with the use of ALCAR include a jittery felling, anxiety, nervousness and sleeplessness. Consult with your doctor before taking ALCAR.


You should not take ALCAR if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Further, you should not take this supplement if you have an underactive thyroid. ALCAR may also cause seizure in individuals with a history of having seizures. If you take the drug Warfarin, a drug used to slow blood clotting, you should avoid taking this supplement as ALCAR can increase the effects of this medication and increase the chance of bleeding and bruising.

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