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Alcar - Negative Side Effects


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#1 JayMass

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:30 AM


So I added 1000mg of Alcar per day to my regimine several weeks ago.

When I first started taking ALCAR to begin I felt a little tingly (don't know how else to describe it). After a couple of days I notice that I begin to feel like I am coming down with something. Also during this time my sleep is seriously impacted. After about two weeks I seriously feel that crap one morning and throw up several times. I remove ALCAR from my diet and the problems go away.

If it matters I was taking Doctor's Best ALCAR.

Any recommendations on another supplement that will accomplish the same thing and hopefully not have the same side effects?

I am currently taking ALA, Fish Oil, Resveratrol, and a Multi.

Thanks

#2 luv2increase

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:27 AM

Any recommendations on another supplement that will accomplish the same thing and hopefully not have the same side effects?



No. ALCAR is absolutely phenomenal, and I am sorry that you will not be able to reap its benefits. You know, I've yet to hear of one case where someone has had a bad reaction to ALCAR in the last 3 years on constantly researching all supps and nootropics. I wouldn't be surprised if you got a bad batch somehow. Doctor's Best is a superb supplement company so I am a bit dumbfounded. I would try ALCAR again but only a different company. If that fails again, I would try PLCAR. Although, make sure you take ALCAR on an empty stomach at least 30-45 minutes before eating any food for it is an amino acid.

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#3 4eva

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:10 AM

Muscle carnitine may be low from a vitamin c deficiency.

How are you on vitamin c?

I'm not sure what you were taking ALCAR for.

#4 niner

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:19 AM

I've used Doctors Best ALCAR without problem. I would wait a few weeks, then try a different brand, as luv2 suggested. You also might start with 500mg/day for a while to see how things go. I've never heard of a reaction to ALCAR like this. Bad batch? Bacterial contamination? Drs Best is not a fly-by-night operation.

#5 luv2increase

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:35 AM

I'm not sure what you were taking ALCAR for.



Many members of this board take ALCAR. It along with ALA have been scientifically proven to be very efficacious in improving bio-markers and slowing down the process of aging. It also has a host of other beneficial effects. There really isn't a reason that someone should not supplement with ALCAR. I would say that it is probably THE most important supplement in my or anyone else's stack. It is just that good, period.

#6 Mixter

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 06:29 AM

So I added 1000mg of Alcar per day to my regimine several weeks ago.


So, how much ALA do you take? Is it pure R-form or racemic?

You'd need at least 125mg R-lipoic acid or 250mg normal ALA for
this high dose, based on other formulations. Also you need to take
ALA+ALCAR at roughly the same time and be on a multivitamin.
Otherwise the explanation may be you're generating excess free radicals.

#7 JayMass

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:06 PM

My routine was:

First thing in the morning take:
1.5 Grams of Resveratrol
500mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Doctors Best)
~30-45 minutes later take 300mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Doctors Best)
~90 minutes later eat
at lunch 2gram of Fish oil
late afternoon - repeat Alcar & ALA routine
around dinner time the Multivitamin
around bedtime another 2 grams of fish oil

Shortly after taking the Alcar I was able to feel the effects I have reported. I could feel the effects prior to taking the ALA. So the effects were felt on 500mg's.

I would say that my Vitamin C intake is fine and I am taking a multi.

I purchased 2 bottles of the Alcar. I will give it another week then compare the lot numbers and try the unopened bottle.

I have removed the Alcar from my routine and the side effects have gone away. So it is either the Alcar or Alcar's combination with something else I am taking.

I am open to any ideas. I would like to take the Alcar based on the information I have read about it but not with the negative side effects I am experiencing.

Edited by JayMass, 22 September 2008 - 02:09 PM.


#8 hamishm00

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:34 PM

My routine was:

First thing in the morning take:
1.5 Grams of Resveratrol
500mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Doctors Best)
~30-45 minutes later take 300mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Doctors Best)
~90 minutes later eat
at lunch 2gram of Fish oil
late afternoon - repeat Alcar & ALA routine
around dinner time the Multivitamin
around bedtime another 2 grams of fish oil

Shortly after taking the Alcar I was able to feel the effects I have reported. I could feel the effects prior to taking the ALA. So the effects were felt on 500mg's.

I would say that my Vitamin C intake is fine and I am taking a multi.

I purchased 2 bottles of the Alcar. I will give it another week then compare the lot numbers and try the unopened bottle.

I have removed the Alcar from my routine and the side effects have gone away. So it is either the Alcar or Alcar's combination with something else I am taking.

I am open to any ideas. I would like to take the Alcar based on the information I have read about it but not with the negative side effects I am experiencing.


Your stack is similar to most of the people's stacks on this forum, from what I can tell, and it's substantially similar to mine.

Although I usually take 4 grams of vitamin C spread out during the day, you're probably at 400mg assuming you're just taking a standard multi. I have definitely had reactions with my stack, but I narrowed that down to chocamine and yohimbe. I've ditched the chocamine almost entirely, and I have cut down on the yohimbe quite substantially.

Wierd that this should cause some sort of reaction. In theory I would be more concerned about the reasons for the reaction than whether or not to take ALCAR. It is a cornerstone of life extension supplements at the moment. If rats can handle it, you should be able to in theory, but hey, these things sometimes happen.

#9 JayMass

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:56 PM

My routine was:

First thing in the morning take:
1.5 Grams of Resveratrol
500mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Doctors Best)
~30-45 minutes later take 300mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Doctors Best)
~90 minutes later eat
at lunch 2gram of Fish oil
late afternoon - repeat Alcar & ALA routine
around dinner time the Multivitamin
around bedtime another 2 grams of fish oil

Shortly after taking the Alcar I was able to feel the effects I have reported. I could feel the effects prior to taking the ALA. So the effects were felt on 500mg's.

I would say that my Vitamin C intake is fine and I am taking a multi.

I purchased 2 bottles of the Alcar. I will give it another week then compare the lot numbers and try the unopened bottle.

I have removed the Alcar from my routine and the side effects have gone away. So it is either the Alcar or Alcar's combination with something else I am taking.

I am open to any ideas. I would like to take the Alcar based on the information I have read about it but not with the negative side effects I am experiencing.


Your stack is similar to most of the people's stacks on this forum, from what I can tell, and it's substantially similar to mine.

Although I usually take 4 grams of vitamin C spread out during the day, you're probably at 400mg assuming you're just taking a standard multi. I have definitely had reactions with my stack, but I narrowed that down to chocamine and yohimbe. I've ditched the chocamine almost entirely, and I have cut down on the yohimbe quite substantially.

Wierd that this should cause some sort of reaction. In theory I would be more concerned about the reasons for the reaction than whether or not to take ALCAR. It is a cornerstone of life extension supplements at the moment. If rats can handle it, you should be able to in theory, but hey, these things sometimes happen.


I will have to go check and see what I am taking Vitamin C wise but I believe it is more than 400mg - although no where near 4 grams.

I would agree that in theory that I should be able to handle the Alcar without any issues but it would not be the first time individuals respond differently. Some people just respond differently to different supplements or medications.

#10 tintinet

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:09 PM

Just another anecdote: I have taken and continue to take Doctor's Best ALC without untoward effects, FWIW.

#11 hamishm00

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:36 PM

I would agree that in theory that I should be able to handle the Alcar without any issues but it would not be the first time individuals respond differently. Some people just respond differently to different supplements or medications.


Very true, this does happen, but I've never heard of it happening to anyone here, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

It's worth exploring whether or not this was a bad batch. This happens a lot more often than people may think, but in fairness these bad batches were in relation to different supplements from different companies to the one you are buying from.

#12 HaloTeK

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:39 PM

Any substance that has as much power on the body as ALCar or PLCar does surely might have some side effects. From doses as small as 500mg for AlCar and 500mh of PLCar i have seen a slight increase in nervousness and twitching. After about 10 days of continuous use, I see a slight surfacing of a hemmroidal condition (which I'm prone too - btw - the hemmroid in this state never really gets painful and it comes and goes). I hypothesize that the increase in certain types of neurotransmitters from the forms of carnitine are increasing tension in the body. I've also noticed the above hemmroidal type state when i try to rely on fat metabolism for energy over carbs (trust me, i get enough fiber and are very regular , the condition surfaces without straining on the toliet). I know carnitines help preferentiate fat metoblism and there might be a link there.

Overall, I take carnitines from time to time for mood enhancement, increasing energy, clearer skin etc. but don't think that you will always be free of side effects (even if there is no literature for them)

#13 stephen_b

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:50 PM

Is there any indication that carnitine supplementation can result in lower brain GABA levels? In this study (PMID 7630861), GABA was shown to inhibit carnitine uptake. I believe the reason is that they use the same transport mechanism to some extent. My thinking was that the reverse might happen too if a competition is going on for the same resources.

Stephen

#14 Johann

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 07:30 PM

 I have a touch of Fibromyalgia-type symptoms.  And I have noticed that when I lay 

off of the ALCAR for a few days, the symptoms go away.  I'm wondering if it is

from the increased free radicals from ALCAR?  

#15 Blue

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:09 PM

Where does this notion of increased free radicals from alcar come from? Is there a study? Or do people just assume that alcar does cause free radicals since it is often taken with ala?

#16 niner

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:24 PM

Where does this notion of increased free radicals from alcar come from? Is there a study? Or do people just assume that alcar does cause free radicals since it is often taken with ala?

It comes from early research by Bruce Ames' group. They found that very high doses of ALCAR resulted in free radical production, and this could be counteracted with ALA. More recently it has been found that at normal doses like 1g/d, the accelerated free radical production is not a problem and ALA isn't necessary. I seem to have lost the ref for this; anyone have it?

#17 1kgcoffee

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:38 AM

This is just hearsay, but I've read that ALCAR upregulates p75 nerve growth factor which shortens the hair growth cycle, which may in some people cause premature hair loss. That's the only negative side effect that I know of, and a lot of people think more NGF is a good thing! Personally I love ALCAR, but take it only once a week now.

Edited by 1kgcoffee, 07 October 2009 - 12:40 AM.


#18 hamishm00

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

Just use regaine which increases hair growth cycle. It should balance out then ;)

#19 nowayout

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:43 PM

So I added 1000mg of Alcar per day to my regimine several weeks ago.


Lots of people would have problems with such a massive dose. Try starting your caffeine consumption from nothing to 10 cups of coffee a day and see how you feel. ;)

A more reasonable starting dose would be 250mg or even less, taken in the morning. I find 250mg to be plenty.

#20 Vultures

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:09 PM

This may be a bit offtopic, but I don't want to open extra-topic.

As we all know, ALCAR is good for workouts (great actually), also it's supposed to be supplemented with ALA in one form or another to counter oxidative stress. But ALA *might* be bad for excercise, which is also well known. How do you guys handle this controversy?
I guess free radicals, produced by 0.5g of ALCAR without ALA before workout won't kill anyone.
Or will it?

Edited by Vultures, 07 October 2009 - 06:09 PM.


#21 hamishm00

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:22 PM

So I added 1000mg of Alcar per day to my regimine several weeks ago.


Lots of people would have problems with such a massive dose. Try starting your caffeine consumption from nothing to 10 cups of coffee a day and see how you feel. ;)

A more reasonable starting dose would be 250mg or even less, taken in the morning. I find 250mg to be plenty.



I don't know about all you folks, I have had no problems with doses in excess of 5 grams a day, divided in doses through the day. Alcar, Alcar Arginate, L-Carnitine, all forms.

What problems are you referring to, and why do you equate carnitine with coffee? Do you suffer when you take more than 250grams?

#22 nowayout

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:41 PM

I don't know about all you folks, I have had no problems with doses in excess of 5 grams a day, divided in doses through the day. Alcar, Alcar Arginate, L-Carnitine, all forms.

What problems are you referring to, and why do you equate carnitine with coffee? Do you suffer when you take more than 250grams?


ALCAR is a CNS stimulant and can cause insomnia in too high doses. It also gives me muscle cramps (I have painful trigger points), probably via nerve overstimulation.

Too high doses can be counterproductive, and actually damage mitochondria due to excess free radical production.

Lower doses do not have this problem, for appropriate value of "lower". Lower doses can be more effective than higher doses in mitochondrial support and actual benefit. See the Ames dose-ranging study in rodents. They observed damage through the microscope and diminishing performance when exceeding the optimal dose.

What counts as "higher", "lower", and "optimal" is known for old rats. It is not known for young rats, middle aged rats, or humans. It probably depends on weight and age.

The other forms of carnitine are not so much CNS stimulants, so they can be combined. I have combined higher doses of L-Carnitine tartrate with my usual dose of ALCAR without problems of insomnia or myofascial cramps.

Edited by viveutvivas, 07 October 2009 - 07:46 PM.


#23 drmz

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:50 PM

I tried alcar several times,makes me dizzy and gives me serious eyelid twitching at 500mg

#24 VespeneGas

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:24 AM

ALCAR is not technically a CNS stimulant, but I'm pretty sure it boosts metabolic activity in the brain. I find doses over 500 mg excessively stimulating, and experience vasoconstriction, anxiety, and tight neck/back (I don't know about nerve overstimulation, but excessive acetylcholine synthesis seems like a reasonable hypothesis).

350 mg in the morning is enough for me. People just have varying physiological responses to these chemicals - I can't imagine taking 5 GRAMS in one day ;)

#25 jackj

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:47 AM

This may be a bit offtopic, but I don't want to open extra-topic.

As we all know, ALCAR is good for workouts (great actually), also it's supposed to be supplemented with ALA in one form or another to counter oxidative stress. But ALA *might* be bad for excercise, which is also well known. How do you guys handle this controversy?
I guess free radicals, produced by 0.5g of ALCAR without ALA before workout won't kill anyone.
Or will it?


I recently started taking ALCAR and ALA and I'm still working out the dose as I've found one or the other is really effecting my sleep but its hard to tell due to having really bad sleeping patterns right now... anyway I came back because I remember reading the same thing (when i couldnt sleep one night); that ALA may cause problems with hormones or something taken prior or during exercise. Does anyone else know where this info is or if there is research on it? I stopped taking ALA within a four hour window of exercise.

For what its worth I've found a combo of a multi, fish oil and ALCAR and Jarrows ALA (might go for an r-ala combo next time) great... I'll be sure to report any issues.

Edited by jackj, 14 November 2009 - 08:56 AM.


#26 jackj

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:09 PM

I'm going to lay off the Alcar for a bit as my sleeping pattern was really bad. I found myself being awake for 20 hours sleeping for 6 and going about the next day fairly normally but only with another 500mg of alcar on an empty stomach. I also found if I didn't take a second dose after 5 - 6 hours I'd feel very down and would need to sleep for an hour or so waking up feeling very average waiting until I could go to sleep again. Was this worth the uplifted mood I felt prior? I'm not sure.

I might start it again in a few days but my dose is going down to maybe 200mg.

I'm really enjoying a decent dose of fish oil and regular exercise at the moment.

Edited by jackj, 17 November 2009 - 04:11 PM.


#27 NeuroGuy

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:23 PM

Some food for thought...

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8137890

A cluster analysis study of acetyl-L-carnitine effect on NMDA receptors in aging.
Castorina M, Ambrosini AM, Giuliani A, Pacifici L, Ramacci MT, Angelucci L.

Institute for Research on Senescence, Sigma Tau S.p.A., Rome, Italy.

Aging is associated with a reduction in the maximum density of n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-sensitive glutamate binding sites in the hippocampus of Fischer 344 rats. This study was designed to investigate the effect of acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) on NMDA receptors in the old rat (24 months) after chronic or single-dose treatments. The number of NMDA receptors was significantly decreased in the old rat hippocampus by 19.5% compared with the young rat. A six-month treatment with ALCAR in the old rat attenuated the loss of NMDA binding sites in the hippocampus. A single-dose treatment with ALCAR in the old rat increased the Bmax value by 35%, while no change was observed in the young group. We conclude that ALCAR can exert two actions: a trophic/neuro-preserving one when chronically administered during aging, and a stimulatory one when given at a single dose in the aged rat.




Magnesium, L-theanine, and likely other anxiolytics mechanism of action is to antagonize the NMDA receptor. Its likely that those who suffer negative effects from ALCAR (such as myself) suffer from some sort of imbalance that causes too much NMDA receptor activation, such as lupus.


http://www.nature.co...m1101-1175.html

Anti-DNA meets NMDA in neuropsychiatric lupus
Brian L. Kotzin1 & Elizabeth Kozora2

1.Department of Medicine and Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and National Jewish Medical and Research Center Denver, Colorado, USA
2.Department of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and National Jewish Medical and Research Center Denver, Colorado, USA
e-mail: brian.kotzin@uchsc.edu


Abstract:
Systemic lupus erythematosus can cause various forms of central nervous system disorders, ranging from subtle cognitive dysfunction to life-threatening coma. How lupus autoantibodies target neurons and cause brain injury remains a mystery. New research suggests that a subset of autoantibodies to double-stranded DNA in lupus patients cross-reacts with the NMDA glutamate receptor, and produces neuronal injury and death. (pages 1189–1193)



#28 choqueiro

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:03 PM

Could ALCAR causes hair loss?? 1kgcoffee said in his post of 7 October 2009: "This is just hearsay, but I've read that ALCAR upregulates p75 nerve growth factor which shortens the hair growth cycle, which may in some people cause premature hair loss. That's the only negative side effect that I know of" (see: http://www.imminst.o...e-side-effects/). See also: http://www.imminst.o...e->-hair-loss/.

Could someone clarify this point?? Someone suffer this side effect after taking it??

Thanks

#29 chrono

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:15 PM

^^ Moved from another thread.

To clarify, ALCAR induces increased release of NGF in several brain regions, and also enhances the magnitude of its effect (i.e. less is needed to accomplish the same work), possibly through increased expression of NGFR receptors. However, it must be emphasized that this effect might not be that strong in the young (i.e. non-elderly).

These papers indeed suggest that high NGF levels will have a negative impact on hair growth: Neurogenic inflammation in stress-induced termination of murine hair growth is promoted by nerve growth factor and Hair growth inhibition by psychoemotional stress: a mouse model for neural mechanisms in hair growth control. This second abstract mentions that topical minoxidil reversed the effect.

Edited by chrono, 09 August 2010 - 07:12 PM.
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#30 choqueiro

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 06:48 PM

So increasing NGF could cause hair loss.

1) Alpha GPC increase also NGF so it could also cause hair loss??
2) CDP Choline doesn´t increase NGF so there´s no possibility of hair loss with it?? (I need a good choline supplement for piracetam that doesn´t has as side effect hair loss)

Thanks so much




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