L Carnitine Benefits
Is L carnitine the single biggest nutritional breakthrough in modern times? Well, there are many notable health, fitness, and nutritional experts who vouch that claim, but take a look at the purported L carnitine benefits and judge for yourself…
What does L carnitine do?
Although it was first discovered over a hundred years ago, it wasn’t until the 70’s that we began to realize just how important this coenzyme is – it’s a crucial component in the production of your energy.
Research suggests that 90 to 95% of your body’s energy is produced by the mitochondrian (each cell in your body contains up to a thousand of them). These mitochondrian produce energy through a process known as ATP, the “holy grail” of energy – it transports energy within the cells. Without ATP, life would not be possible.
Natural L carnitine is an important part of this process. Carnitine acts as a transporter; picking up the fatty acid “fuel” which flows through your blood’s plasma, and delivering it to the mitochondria (which can then turn it into energy). While short and medium chain fats can enter the mitochondrial membrane by themselves, the long-chain fatty acids need carnitine to transport it. Without carnitine, they cannot make it into the mitochondrian.
How important are the fatty acids?
Reportedly up to 70% of the energy made by our muscles, including the heart, comes from the burning of fatty acids… so it’s clear to see why so many say L carnitine benefits us.
The Alleged Benefits of L Carnitine
Through research and clinical trials, there is a vast array of data which suggests L carnitine benefits our health in more ways than one. However before we discuss some of the alleged benefits, it’s important to point out the L carnitine is a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements should never be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. The claims discussed on this site have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Furthemore, this blog makes absolutely no claims about L carnitine – this site is merely passing along and re-publishing information from various sources.
Now let’s look at some of the alleged benefits:
The “acetyl” part of acetyl L carnitine benefits the brain in another way too – through the formation of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, which is vital for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. In addition, L carnitine has antioxidant properties which may help neutralize free radical damage. There have even been studies which point to L carnitine possibly being beneficial for degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s, but further research will be needed to find out. For these reasons, L carnitine supplements have been nicknamed anti-aging “brain food” and have been highly recommended by many for supporting brain health.
Most of us fixate on what we consume (calories, fats, carbs, etc) but we really should take into account our metabolism, too. A “good” metabolism is why some people seem to consume whatever they want without gaining a pound, while others become overweight from merely eating an average amount.
There have been studies which have demonstrated that the obese have lower levels of L carnitine. When you consider the important role this nutrient has in metabolizing fats, is this just a coincidence? World-renowned nutritionist Robert Crayhon has claimed it’s the most important supplement for enhancing weight loss. Reportedly consuming healthy omega-3 fatty acids along with L carnitine benefits the metabolism by supporting energy production.
As mentioned, the heart is a muscle which reportedly gets up to 70% of its energy through metabolizing fatty acids, so it’s obvious why many claim L carnitine is is so beneficial for it. But in addition, there are several other reasons why it might support the heart.
There have been a wide array of studies, including some of which were placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials, which have shown vast evidence that suggests L carnitine may help angina, hardening of the arteries, heart failure, post-heart attack survival, and more. However, it’s important to note that L carnitine supplements are not a replacement for medicine and should never be used to diagnose, cure, prevent, or treat any disease. Much more research needs to be done to determine whether any of the claims mentioned here are true.
Do you have L carnitine deficiency?
Our bodies produce it naturally, but that amount declines significantly after the age of 40. While we can get L carnitine through food, it’s almost impossible to get amounts which many consider to be optimal. Why? Because only red meats contain a sizable amount, but in order to get 500 mgs of L carnitine from it, you would need to consume over two pounds of beef per day! Unfortunately dairy, chicken, fish, and other types of meats contain less than 10% the amount that red meat does. Plants and grains only contain trivial amounts.
L carnitine deficiency symptoms
If you frequently experience fatigue, get tired easily, have low energy during physical activity, or have muscle aches, some say these may be signs of a deficiency. It has been said that L carnitine supplements can help replenish deficiency and support your health – talk to your doctor to learn more. Reportedly, since L carnitine benefits energy production, it’s often recommended to take carnitine supplements before 3 pm, so they wear off by the time you go to sleep.