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Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) - Must Read

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Unread 03-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
SI33
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Default Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) - Must Read

I was given this tip by some weight training buddies, and it's definitely something you should look into when recovering from concussion and something to continue even after you've recovered. I want to pass the tip on to everyone here, since I remember coming on here looking for tips when things were rough on my end.

I noticed a marked improvement when I started running ALCAR in September/October. Everything improved, from memory, mood, quickness in tought, and even my vision corrected itself immediately. I can't overstate how effective ALCAR is.

Most I've spoken to were dosing at 1g-2g per day. For me, 500mg-1g is the sweet spot.

Best time to take it: Before sleep. I wake up refreshed, energetic and in a fantastic mood when taking 500mg before sleep.

You can pick it up at Vitamin Shoppe (that's the brand I use). If anyone has any questions, shoot me a PM and I'd be more than happy to help you out or give you some advice.

All the best,


I've linked the livestrong page on ALCAR:

Acetyl-L-carnitine remains available over the counter despite safety concerns. Taking this dietary aid offers you many health benefits, according to a 2010 article in "Alternative Medicine Review." For example, it may protect your brain from disease and injury. Scientists can measure the positive effects of carnitine by recording the brain's electrical activity. Brain waves, also called EEG tracings, provide a good indicator for the overall health of the central nervous system. Carnitine affects the brain in distinct ways.

Theta Power

Brain waves vary from a few cycles per second to hundreds of cycles per second. Each frequency plays a unique role in thinking, learning and acting. Researchers consider theta waves -- six cycles per second -- to reflect attention, according to a 2010 report in "Neuroscience Letters." An experiment described in the 2006 edition of "Archives Italiennes de Biologie" looked at the impact of acetyl-L-carnitine on theta waves. Laboratory animals received either carnitine or saline during a single testing session. Relative to a placebo, the supplement increased theta power. The theta waves were faster and more prominent in the rats given carnitine.

Reaction Time

Scientists also break down the EEG into unique components. One component -- called the P300 -- reflects reaction time, according to a 2007 review in "Clinical Neurophysiology." When presented with a stimulus, the P300 appears earlier in subjects with shorter reaction times. An investigation published in the 1993 volume of "Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology" assessed the effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on P300 latency. Primates received carnitine immediately before performing cognitive tasks. The nutritional supplement, relative to an inert treatment, hasted the appearance of the P300 component. Monkeys given carnitine had their shortest P300 latencies within 20 minutes of being given the supplement.

Impact on Sleep

Brain activity varies with changes in behavioral state. Sleep, for example, produces several unique EEG waveforms. One type -- known as sleep spindles -- represent the brain's attempt to keep your body asleep. Healthy sleep includes the frequent appearance of spindling, according to a 2010 article in "Current Biology." A trial presented in the 1990 edition of "Clinical Pharmacology Research" evaluated the impact of acetyl-L-carnitine on brain waves of Parkinson's patients. Subjects received daily doses of carnitine for a week. Relative to baseline, the supplement increased spindling and improved sleep. Large and small doses of carnitine were similarly effective without causing side effects.

EEG Grade

Doctors grade brain tracings using a five-point scale, according to the 2007 book "Principles of Clinical Pharmacology." A healthy patient receives a score of 4 and a comatose patient receives a 1. People with hepatic encephalopathy often receive the lowest score. In this medical condition, the liver fails to remove toxic substances from the blood, causing brain damage. A study described in the 2006 volume of "Digestive Diseases and Sciences" tested acetyl-L-carnitine in people experiencing hepatic coma. Patients received either the carnitine or a placebo for several days. Placebo intake improved EEG grade in 9 percent of the subjects, while carnitine intake improved it in 62 percent. The patients did not experience adverse events.


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References
"Alternative Medicine Review"; Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Monograph; April 2010
"Neuroscience Letters"; Brain Activity in Goal-Directed Movements in a Real Compared to a Virtual Environment Using the Nintendo Wii; Jochen Baumeister, et al.; Aug. 30, 2010
"Archives Italiennes de Biologie"; Behavioral and Electrophysiological Changes Induced by Acetyl-L-Carnitine in Aged Freely-Moving Rats; Gabriella Marini, et al.; February 2006
"Clinical Neurophysiology"; Updating P300: An Integrative Theory of P3a and P3b; John Polich; October 2007
"Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology"; Effect of Levo-Acetyl-Carnitine on Visual Cognitive Evoked Potentials in the Behaving Monkey; Andrea Antal, et al.; April 1993
"Current Biology"; Spontaneous Brain Rhythms Predict Sleep Stability in the Face of Noise; Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, et al.; Aug. 10, 2010
Article reviewed by Bonny Brown Jones Last updated on: Jun 11, 2011


Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/46...#ixzz1odJaElnS
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Unread 03-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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This looks interesting. It's only concern for me is its ability to freely cross the blood brain barrier.

There is a need to be cautious with substances that can directly cross the blood brain barrier. From what I have read, it looks like L Carnitine may be the better form. The body converts it to Acetyl-L-Carnitine.

When the body moderates the amount in the blood, it is usually a safer amount.

This is similar to the 5-HTP vs L-Tryptophan issue. The body moderates the amount of 5-HTP that is produced from the L-Tryptophan whereas ingesting 5-HTP directly can cause an overdose of 5-HTP and its metabolite (serotonin).

I prefer to providing the substances for the body to convert to the needed substance.

The blood brain barrier has a very important function. Defeating it can be problematic, especially to a compromised brain.
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 03-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Please don't confuse acyl carnitine with acetyl carnitine.

The latter is better absorbed and hence more effective than plain carnitine. Both are converted to acyl carnitine in the body.

The acetyl form as a supplement also supplies the acetyl group to enable choline conversion to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter of the nervous system.
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Unread 03-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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All studies that I've read on ALCAR highlight the positive effect on the brain under regular circumstances and after concussion. It has also been shown to drastically lessen the possibility of paralysis following spinal chord injury.

Simply put, the stuff is incredible.
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Unread 03-09-2012, 09:41 PM   #5
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I've been taking 500 mg daily of acetyl-L-carnitine for several months as well. I think it has helped me a lot. My physiatrist was glad to hear I was on it as it is something she often recommends.

I started taking it after reading this article, particularly the section on nutrition: http://www.wellnessresources.com/hea...tes_take_note/

Acetyl-L-carnitine is the only substance mentioned that both increases the good stuff and decreases the bad stuff they mention.
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mTBI and PCS after sledding accident 1-17-2011

Was experiencing:
Persistent headaches, fatigue, slowed cognitive functions, depression
Symptoms exacerbated by being in a crowd, watching TV, driving, other miscellaneous stress & sensory overload
Sciatica/piriformis syndrome with numbness & loss of reflex


Largely recovered after participating in Nedley Depression Recovery Program March 2012:
http://www.drnedley.com


Eowyn Rides Again: My Journey Back from Concussion
http://eowynridesagain.wordpress.com
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Unread 03-10-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Eowyn, et al - Did your physiatrist mention anything re: are there any known potential concerns about taking this along with our other Rx meds, e.g. with any antidepressants?

Thanks for any info.
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Unread 03-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eowyn View Post
I've been taking 500 mg daily of acetyl-L-carnitine for several months as well. I think it has helped me a lot. My physiatrist was glad to hear I was on it as it is something she often recommends.

I started taking it after reading this article, particularly the section on nutrition: http://www.wellnessresources.com/hea...tes_take_note/

Acetyl-L-carnitine is the only substance mentioned that both increases the good stuff and decreases the bad stuff they mention.
I feel that if I had taken ALCAR right after the concussion, I'd never have went through PCS. The research on immediate use following injury is astounding, proof that it protects the neurons at that critical stage as well as helping them recover in the weeks and months after.

Glad to hear you're also enjoying the benefits of ALCAR in speeding recovery. You got yourself an informed doctor.
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Unread 03-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theta Z View Post
Eowyn, et al - Did your physiatrist mention anything re: are there any known potential concerns about taking this along with our other Rx meds, e.g. with any antidepressants?

Thanks for any info.
Theta
Theta,

She didn't make any general statements about it, but she did know that I was taking it with celexa, amitriptyline, and imitrex and seemed fine with that. She was also the one who initiated my switch from amitriptyline to topamax for headache prevention.

Hope that helps!
__________________
mTBI and PCS after sledding accident 1-17-2011

Was experiencing:
Persistent headaches, fatigue, slowed cognitive functions, depression
Symptoms exacerbated by being in a crowd, watching TV, driving, other miscellaneous stress & sensory overload
Sciatica/piriformis syndrome with numbness & loss of reflex


Largely recovered after participating in Nedley Depression Recovery Program March 2012:
http://www.drnedley.com


Eowyn Rides Again: My Journey Back from Concussion
http://eowynridesagain.wordpress.com
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Unread 03-10-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
Mark in Idaho
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SI33, Can you please post a link to the research that addresses ALCAR after concussion.

I found this one

http://altmedrev.com/thorne/index2.p...html&Itemid=70 It mentions footnote 51 so I will see if I can find that reference.

It only addresses use after ischemia and that is by IV infusion. Progesterone has similar neuro-protective effects.

Here is a much more recent article that addresses the issues with ALCAR and cerebral ischemia/neural injury.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072740/

Read about half way down the page. "Cerebral Ischemia"

It reviews the vast literature and mentions a need for more thorough research.
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 03-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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I just started taking this and I've already noticed a distinct improvement after just two doses. I took 500mg last night and had a LOT of trouble falling asleep because my mind was so active. I took another 500mg this morning and even after not getting a good night's sleep I'm doing surprisingly well compared to my functioning level last week.

I'm going to continue to take it and try to report back with my opinion after using it for a little longer.
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