All About L-Carnitine
Often taken as a supplement, L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative which is used for weight loss and may have an impact on brain function.
However, some popular claims about supplements do not always match up with science.
In this article, we are going to examine the functioning, benefits, dosage and precautions of L-carnitine supplements.
What is L-Carnitine?
L-carnitine is a form of carnitine and is a derivative of amino acids. Amino acids combine to produce proteins, which are responsible for carrying out many essential tasks in the body. Carnitine also helps your body break down fatty acids and turn them into energy to power the cells.
L-carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient that means that the body can generally make enough of it. However, in some cases, a person might have to get the compound from food or oral supplements if they cannot make enough of it.
In the human body, the liver and kidneys create L-carnitine from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Our kidneys can also store L-carnitine for later use and eliminate the excess amount through the urine stream.
How does it work?
L-carnitine helps your body produce energy. It is vital for heart and brain function, muscle movement and much other body functioning.
The most impressive advantages of l-carnitine include its impact on our heart health, brain function, bodybuilding, and weight loss amongst others.
1. Brain Function
- There are numerous types of l-carnitine, but some researchers have found that this amino acid can prevent neurodegenerative disease by lowering the amount of beta-amyloid plaque deposition.
- Another study has revealed that the long term usage of this compound is known to lower attention deficits in Alzheimer’s patients. It also goes onto state that l-carnitine is therapeutic for those who are suffering from this condition.
2. Heart Health
When l-carnitine is converted into its different types, it can have benefits on heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Several types of research have found that supplementation with this amino acid can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the symptoms of diabetes.
4. Weight Loss
By improvising the movement of fatty acids to your cells’ mitochondria, l-carnitine can speed the metabolism of fats in the body, which helps to shed pounds and fat more rapidly, thus helping with your weight loss efforts.
5. Cognitive Performance
Even though you are not ageing or at high risk of neurodegenerative diseases, using this type of amino acid supplement can help in improving concentration, memory, and retention.
L-carnitine is perhaps best known in connection with bodybuilding because its ability to more effectively burn fat can be very useful for those trying to bulk up and increase muscle production. For those who are attempting to gain extreme muscle mass, a great deal of these supplements will be expended and will need to be replenished with supplements.
L Carnitine Side Effects
Most people experience the side effect of L-carnitine as well. These includes:
- Stomach cramps
Some people might also complain of a “fishy” body odour, which is not generally harmful but might be bothersome.
Some studies have suggested that high levels of L-creatine might raise the long-term risks of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.
L-carnitine supplements might also interact with certain antibiotics or anticonvulsants. Anybody who is considering taking L-carnitine should consult their doctor to discuss any medications they are taking and the possible drug interactions.
Supplements and Dosage
Even though L- carnitine can be found naturally in plenty of food sources, it is also available in supplement form as well.
Firstly, it is important to decide what form to use and when to take your supplement. It can be either found in the form of liquid, capsule and injectable for a quick and convenient method to boost your levels of carnitine.
You must be sure to take it with meals to maximize its effectiveness for oral usage of L-carnitine.
The standard level of L-carnitine dosage is 500–2,000 milligrams daily. Based on the most current research available, a dose of up to two grams daily can be used safely and effectively with minimal side effects.
The dosage might vary by the type of L-carnitine supplement. For example, Acetyl-L-carnitine can also be used in doses of up to 2,500 milligrams daily. However, the dose for L-carnitine L-tartrate, which is a form typically used to enhance athletic performance, can range up to 4,000 milligrams.
You must keep in mind that while adding any supplement into your routine, you must always start with a low dose and work your way up to ensure you can tolerate it without adverse side effects.
Special Precautions and Warnings
1. Pregnancy and breast-feeding:
There is not enough reliable information to know if L-carnitine is safe to use by pregnant women. You must stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Taking L-carnitine is POSSIBLY SAFE for breastfeeding women when taken by mouth in the amounts recommended by a medical professional. Small amounts of L-carnitine have been given to infants in their breast milk and the formula with no reported side effects. The effects of large amounts taken by a breastfeeding mother are still unknown.
L-carnitine is a POSSIBLY SAFE supplement when used appropriately by mouth or intravenously (by IV), short-term. It has been used safely and effectively by mouth for up to 6 months.
3. Kidney failure:
Using DL-carnitine has been reported to cause several symptoms like muscle weakness and eye drooping when administered intravenously (by IV) after dialysis. L-carnitine does not seem to have this effect.
4. Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism):
Taking L-carnitine might worsen the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
L-carnitine also seems to make seizures more likely in people who have had seizures before. If you have had a seizure attack before, you should not use L-carnitine.
L-carnitine is a naturally produced amino acid in our body. The liver and kidneys produce and store enough of the L-carnitine compound to prevent deficiency in people who have good health.
People who are suffering from L-carnitine deficiencies might need to get the compound through their diet or as a supplement. It is recommended to talk to a doctor before taking an L-carnitine supplement.
Some people might also wish to take L-carnitine supplements for their potential benefits like aiding athletic performance or weight loss. However, more research is required to confirm these benefits.
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