New Study: ALCAR Found Very Effective for Depression

New Study: ALCAR Found Very Effective for Depression
Photo by Kim Carpenter on Unsplash

What is ALCAR?

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is an absorbable form of the amino acid L-Carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid that is synthesized in the liver and kidney. Like L-Carnitine, ALCAR produces energy in the mitochondria of the cell. Because it participates in energy metabolism, it can be supportive in healthy brain development, visual memory and overall focus. Simply, your body uses ALCAR to turn fat into energy.

Carnitine is found in high concentrations in certain foods like red meat and milk. But for those who do not consume the healthy 60-180 mg per day of Carnitine, including vegans, dietary supplementation of Carnitine (its active form) may be needed. Many clinical studies have shown benefits in athletes using Carnitine for improved performance. Other benefits have been shown for anti-aging, heart health, blood sugar health, and infertility.

Facts about Depression

Depression is a mental disorder that causes individuals to experiences a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, distrubed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. According to Harvard Health, some or all of the triggers and brain changes of depression may impair cognition, or thinking skills, including the ability to pay attention, memory, decision making, information processing, and executive functions (like returning phone calls).

Additional information –

  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), acute stress and chronic stress can lead to depression.
  • In 2008, the NIMH reported that prolonged stress and depression can affect corticosteroid production, which could result in stress hyperglycemia and increase the incidence of neuropathy, kidney disease, and poor wound healing.
  • The NIMH reports that depression weakens the immune system, especially natural killer T-cells, which help protect the body from carcinogens and affects the body’s inflammatory response.
  • The American College of Cardiology also states that stress hormones can cause an increase in heart rate, which can lead to high blood pressure, requiring the heart to work harder than normal and necessary.

New Study: ALCAR and Depression

European researchers reviewed a number of studies testing the effects of ALCAR (N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine) on depression. The reason, according to the researchers, is that a deficiency in brain ALCAR activity appears to play a role in the risk of developing depression. In nine randomized control trials, ALCAR was far better than placebo for improving and reducing symptoms of depression.

In three trials where ALCAR was compared to prescription antidepressants, ALCAR had similar effectiveness to the drugs for reducing depressive symptoms; it it much safer than commonly used drugs like antidepressants and has been shown to work faster. ALCAR was most effective in treating depression in older adults.

The study is published in the October 25th. 2017 issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine by researchers from the Neuroscience Institute, Aging Branch in Padova, Italy who worked in conjunction with researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at Kings College, London along with a number of additional academic research institutions.

Questions about ALCAR and Depression? Leave Scientific Director and Pharmacist, Jerry Hickey a comment below.


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