L-Carnitine is frequently taken as a supplement to assist in weight loss. Is it actually useful in helping patients drop a few pounds? Responses to this question are varied. It is agreed upon that L-Carnitine assists in energy metabolism. The question remains as to whether or not this actually helps an individual in losing body fat. Below, a few items are briefly considered:
In 1995, M.F. McCarty noted that may have an effect in promoting weight loss when used with exercise programs. It was mentioned that this is done by improving glucose homeostasis in the individual's liver.
On the other hand, according to Wikipedia (which quotes the University of Maryland Medical Center), no scientific evidence actually shows that taking L-Carnitine supplements helps a weight loss program. The UMMC does state, though, that certain studies have shown it to lower fat mass while increasing muscle mass, and at the same time drop levels of fatigue in the patients.
One study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) in December 2007, found that in centenarians (persons aged 100 or above) those who took L-Carnitine as opposed to a placebo fared better in terms of fat and muscle masses, and also had less fatigue and better cognitive functions.
Back to the question at hand: does taking L-Carnitine supplements provide any benefit toward weight loss (or, in particular, fat loss)? It has been noted to have done so in some studies. Considering this, as well as the other proposed health benefits of this amino acid, many individuals may want to take it. Also consider potential side effects.
If you do end up taking L-Carnitine for weight loss, then you are welcome to use the supplements page on this website to learn more about adding this amino acid to your diet via supplementation. Items such as the types available and usual dosages are discussed. You can also return to the home page for other general information.