Men's & Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC)

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) for Cognitive Enhancement

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid that the body produces and also obtains from food sources, particularly red meats.


Acetyl-L-Carnitine is used as a dietary supplement to help the body produce energy and improve mental health. Its main benefits include:

  • Increasing energy and circulation in the brain.
  • Improving memory and cognitive function in older people.
  • Improving cardiovascular and heart health.
  • Relieving diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain in diabetics).
  • Decreasing fatigue.
  • Improving sperm quality and fertility in men.
  • Enhancing physical and sexual performance in aging men.

How Effective is it?

Effectiveness varies from one individual to another. It works better for people who do not often consume red meat, for example, vegetarians.

What is the Typical Dosage?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is used in dosages ranging from 500mg up to 2,500mg a day.

What are the Side Effects?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is safe for adult men and women. Normally it produces no side effects. Consumption of higher doses may cause digestion problems, vomiting, nausea, and a fishy body odor.