L-carnitine has a chemical structure similar to an amino acid. It is involved in cellular metabolism. Ninety-eight percent of the L-carnitine in your body is found in your heart, brain and skeletal muscles.
How does it work? It helps to carry long-chain fatty acids into your cells. Long chain fatty acids are used to provide energy in your body. Carnitine helps your body use fat as an energy source.
What is it good for? Studies have shown that L-carnitine treats and prevents angina. Twenty-two percent of the study participants reported no angina symptoms after using L-carnitine. Participants in another study showed improvements in all factors affecting congestive heart failure. Hypoglycemia and chronic fatigue may benefit from carnitine. It also increases exercise tolerance.
Carnitine will help to lower triglycerides. It will also raise your HDL (the good) cholesterol. L-carnitine helps with metabolic resistance. This will aid you losing weight. Overweight people have trouble with the transport of fats in the body and L-carnitine assists your body use fats for energy. Carnitine helps prevents fatty acid buildup in your body.
Carnitine will give an energy boost, which in addition to converting body fat to fuel will elevate certain enzymes needed to metabolize sugars, starches, and other carbohydrates. Athletes and casual exercisers can benefit from carnitine supplementation because it reduces the accumulation of lactic acid, which is responsible for the burn felt inside the muscles. This may enable exercisers to gain without the pain, as one study confirmed.
Carnitine is also useful in clearing the bloodstream of ammonia and aids in creating glycogen, used to store essential glucose. Carnitine has been used in connection with angina, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, congestive heart failure (propionyl-L-carnitine), heart attacks, and intermittent claudication.
L-carnitine improves blood glucose levels. It increases insulin sensitivity and glucose storage. When used in combination with calorie reduction it resulted in significant fat loss.
Acetyl-L-carnitine a slightly different form of L-carnitine has been shown to improve cognitive function in the elderly. It improved memory and attention. Studies have show acetyl-L-carnitine also relieves some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's.
Where's it found? Carnitine cannot be made by the body. L-carnitine is found in meats. Strict vegetarians must supplement since plants do not contain L-carnitine.
Carnitine and L-Carnitine:
Carnitine, also known as L-carnitine, is an amino acid derivative which is manufactured by the body and used in energy metabolism and for proper use of fats. It transports fatty acids into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. In infancy and in situations of high energy consumption such as pregnancy and breast-feeding, the need for L-carnitine can exceed the body's production of this amino acid. L-carnitine is used as a dietary supplement to treat carnitine deficiency. It may also be used in persons with abnormal plasma lipoprotein patterns. If you have muscle cramps or a lack of energy L-carnitine supplements may help you. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements.
Is it safe? Yes. Make use you use L-carnitine and not the D-carnitine or DL-carnitine form.
Most people do not need carnitine supplements. For therapeutic use, typical amounts are 1-3 grams per day although higher doses may be recommended for certain conditions. It remains unclear whether the propionyl-L-carnitine form of carnitine used in congestive heart failure research has greater benefits than the L-carnitine form, since limited research in both animals and humans with the more common L-carnitine has also shown very promising effects.