Depression is a common mental health problem in the world today. It is an illness that can affect many aspects of everyday functioning such as interfering with concentration, motivation, bringing about an overwhelming feeling of sadness and losing interests in activities that one once used to enjoy. This is a disorder that has increasingly afflicted people worldwide and according to statistics, about 15 million Americans suffer from depression every year. Major depressive disorder, often simply called depression, is caused by a number of reasons such as mismanagement of mood by the brain, stress, certain medications, health conditions, etc. Many people choose to use medicines and supplements in order to tackle depression. One popular supplement is ALCAR.
What is ALCAR?
Acetyl L Carnitine, also simply known as ALCAR, is widely known for its neuro-protective properties. It is a naturally occurring amino acid found largely in the brain and liver. Natural sources of this substance are meat and dairy products due to which vegans need to rely on supplements in order to fulfill the body requirements. Although this compound is a protein, it does not take part in protein manufacturing and instead has other purposes around the body.
Apart from helping relieve depression, ALCAR is also said to have many other benefits such as improving memory, treating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, treating male infertility, reducing nerve pain caused by diabetes and many others.
ALCAR for depression
There have been multiple studies to test for effects of ALCAR for depression on severely depressed people as well as depressed elderly patients and depressed elderly people with dementia. In all of these studies, ALCAR was found to have a noticeable effect on depression and helped improved moods and other cognitive impairments.
- Placebo-controlled studies
ALCAR was used against placebo in randomized trials. Placebos are mock drugs that have no therapeutic value and contain inactive substances. They are usually only used in research studies. In these trials, it was found that ALCAR had great results as compared to placebo in terms of improving and reducing symptoms of depression.
- Prescription medications
ALCAR was also compared to prescription anti-depressant drugs in certain researches. These studies concluded that ALCAR had similar effects to that of anti-depressant medicines to treat depression and reduce its symptoms. Another added benefit of ALCAR to anti-depressant drugs is that due to ALCAR being a natural substance, it is likely to have any side effects whereas drugs often increase the risk of side effects for the individual.
How does ALCAR work?
Acetyl L Cartinine increases the mitochondrial energy production that is it increase the energy produced by the body. This compound is also said to be important for heat and brain activities, muscle movement and other bodily functions.
Recommended ALCAR dosage
The recommended dose of anti-depressants for any affected individual tends to be 2 grams per day. A typical ALCAR dosage contains about 500 grams. Therefore, the daily dosage for anyone who is using ALCAR for treating depression if four times per day.
Best effects of ALCAR
ALCAR was found to be more effective in the elderly patients as compared to younger ones because older adults were found to have experienced much more benefits of the compound than others.
The effects of ALCAR are proved by medical research and are found to be safe for use. However, all supplements and medicines should only be taken with a doctor’s recommendation to avoid any side effects.