L-carnitine, sometimes referred to as simply carnitine or Vitamin BT, is a non-essential amino acid manufactured from the amino acids methionine and lysine in the liver and kidneys and stored in the brain, heart, muscles tissue, and sperm. People also take these supplements for energy boosts. It occurs naturally in meat and dairy products.
According to the Cell Mass product website, the primary function of L-carnitine is to convert lipids, or fats, into fuel for energy. Specifically, its role is to move fatty acids into the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells that reside within the protective membranes that surround cells. It burns fat by promoting the movement of fatty acids into the mitochondria, which burn fatty acids to make energy. Here, the fatty acids undergo beta oxidation and break down to form acetate. This event is what kicks off the Krebs cycle, a series of complex biological reactions that are essential to provide energy for every cell in the body.
The recommended dosage varies according to the desired effect; medicinal dosages range between 300 and 4,000 mg per day. Pills are sold in 250 mg or 500 mg increments. Bodybuilders and dieters take 2,000 mg a day. Start by taking 1,000 mg, and gradually increase to the desired dosage. Although different typeare available, only acetyl L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine are recommended for supplementation.
L-Carnitine is known to improve blood sugar levels and sperm production, lower cholesterol, counteract symptoms of hyperthyroidism and fight heart disease. Since L-carnitine demonstrates antioxidant activity, it is sometimes used as a complementary therapy in treating various conditions related to oxidative stress, most notably heart disease and angina. In fact, The American Journal of Cardiology reports that this nutrient permits angina patients to exercise more with less pain and also to reduce medication levels. A few studies indicate that carnitine may also permit heart failure patients to experience similar results.
L-carnitine (the CAS No. is 541-15-1) also plays a role in preserving bone density. Unfortunately, this nutrient becomes less concentrated in bone along with osteocalcin, a protein secreted by osteoblasts that is involved in bone mineralization. In fact, these deficiencies are the main factors that contribute to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Studies have shown that this condition may be reversed with its supplementation, which increases available levels of osteocalcin.
Other Aging Issues
Age-associated disorders such as depression, impaired cognition and decreased mental alertness may be partially because of L-carnitine deficiency, according to a review of studies by Juvenon, a health supplement producer connected with the University of California at Berkeley.