L-Carnitine is an amino acid which has a role to play in the body's fat metabolism process. L-Carnitine transports fatty acids to the mitochondria, which is where they are essentially burned as fuel. This amino acid naturally occurs, although it can also be biosynthesized from two other ones. In addition to being found in a wide range of foods, it is also commonly available as a dietary supplement.
L-Carnitine health benefits
Along with being used to turn fat into energy, L-Carnitine has other potential health benefits. One of the most frequent uses of this amino acid is for treatment of heart problems, and multiple clinical studies suggest that it may be of benefit for people with particular heart issues. Several suggested medical benefits may include items such as those below:
Blood sugar control in adult-onset diabetes
Improved cognitive abilities, memory boost
Kidney disease situations
Relief of angina symptoms
Continue reading more on some potential medical benefits.
L-Carnitine and weight loss
One common reason the amino acid is taken as a supplement is for weight loss. This is, as the thought goes, related to the turning of fatty acids into energy. There is debate over whether weight loss is actually accomplished by taking L-Carnitine, or whether the energy metabolism it is used in does not reduce body weight. Read more about the potential connection between improvements in losing weight along with taking this supplement.
L-Carnitine natural sources
L-Carnitine can be found in many dairy products and meats, and it is also located in plant sources. The following are some foods with relatively high contents of this amino acid:
Bacon and pork
Beef (steak, ground)
Read a larger list of natural sources.
L-Carnitine supplements and other sources
In addition to being found in certain foods, L-Carnitine is also produced in items such as supplements. It may be found in some products like energy drinks, and certain vitamin mixtures, as well. Studies seem to show that absorption of the amino acid from oral doses take place at around 2 grams, so ingesting more than that at one time may prove to have no benefits. More information is available on supplements.
Before you start taking L-Carnitine supplements, think of the potential side effects, interactions, contraindications, and any other related precautions. Read about some of the possible side effects.