L-carnitine used in weight loss?

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L-carnitine used in weight loss?

L-Carnitine as a weight loss supplement?

A brief history

Carnitine was first discovered over 100 hundred years ago and up to the 1940s was classed as a vitamin . In the late ‘60s, it was found that carnitine stimulated the rate of fat burning called beta oxidation. Following research, scientists discovered this process to be responsible for energy release.

Structure and classification

Carnitine is chemically similar to choline and in structure resembles aminoacids. Unlike aminoacids, though, it is not a building block of proteins and contrary to vitamins it can be synthesised by the human body. Due to those two characteristics, it belongs to a group referred as vitamin-like nutrients.

Function

The main function of carnitine is to assist in the metabolism of fatty acids for metabolic energy. Recent findings also indicate that carnitine is also involved in triglyceride and carbohydrate metabolism. There are existing studies that prove L-carnitine supplementation linked with moderate physical activity and a good diet promotes higher weight loss than just exercise and diet alone. Some supporting researches indicate that supplementation can reduce chemical damage to tissues after exercise and optimise the processes of muscle repair. Furthermore, studies have found that taking L-carnitine, alone or in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine, increases sperm count and sperm movement in men with fertility problems.

Sources

Carnitine can be obtained in two ways: through dietary sources or through biosynthesis. Generally, animal products are rich in carnitine such as lamb, beef and chicken. It is worth noting that the highest concentrations of carnitine are found in the muscles of these particular animals. Factors required in biosynthesis in mammals are: lysine, methionine, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron. For humans, diet sources seem to play a much bigger role than biosynthesis.

Deficiency risk

Carnitine is considered to be an abundant nutrient; however, certain physical states that may lead to deficiency are: fasting, strenuous exercise and obesity. Low dietary intake of carnitine and products necessary for biosynthesis might also be a factor for deficiency. Reduced carnitine levels have also been reported in people suffering from various diseases, such as heart disease, high blood lipids, hypothyroidism, malnutrition, and certain muscular and neurological disorders.

Safety

Carnitine is safe to take, but we advise that you consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suffer from any medical condition or take any medication, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Conclusion

There is plenty of solid theory behind the benefits of L-carnitine, but the potential uses for this vitamin-like nutrient lacks concrete research. Whilst more studies in humans are needed to establish solid health claims for L-carnitine, we are all looking forward to more positive clinical studies into this fascinating nutrient.

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References

Broquist, H.P., and Borum, P.R. Carnitine biosynthesis. Nutritional implications: Advances in Nutrition Research 4: 181-204, 1982.

Rebouche, C., and Paulson, D. Carnitine metabolism and function in humans. Annual Review of Nutrition 6:41-66, 1986.

Kendler, B.S. Carnitine: An overview of its role in preventive medicine. Preventive Medicine 15: 373-390, 1986.

Opie, L. Role of carnitine in fatty acid metabolism of normal and ischemic myocardium. American Heart journal 97: 375-388, 1979.

Kosolcharoen, P., Nappi, J., Peduzzi, P., et al. Improved exercise tolerance after administration of carnitine. Current Therapeutic Research 30: 753-764, 1981.

Pola, P., Savi, L., Grilli, M., et al. Carnitine in the therapy of dyslipidemic patients. Current Therapeutic Research 27: 208-216, 1980.

Paulson, D., and Shug, A. The beneficial effects of L-carnitine in diabetes mellitus. Proceedings of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology 41: 1087 (abstract), 1982.

Marconi, C., Sassi, G., Carpinelli, A., et al. Effects of L-carnitine loading on the aerobic and anaerobic performance of endurance athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology 54: 131-135, 1985.

Effects of L-Carnitine (Neutraceutical) In Weight Management among Overweight and Obese Adults of Age between 20 – 45yrs – A Comparative Study in Chennai and Tirupathi, R.Kalpana, Dr.Aruna, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2012 5 ISSN 2250-3153

l-Carnitine l-tartrate supplementation favorably affects biochemical markers of recovery from physical exertion in middle-aged men and women. Ho JY1, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Fragala MS, Thomas GA, Dunn-Lewis C, Coday M, Häkkinen K, Maresh CM. 2010 Aug;59(8):1190-9. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.11.012. Epub 2009 Dec 31.

Use of carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility: a double-blind crossover trial. Fertil Steril. 2003 Feb;79(2):292-300.Lenzi A1, Lombardo F, Sgrò P, Salacone P, Caponecchia L, Dondero F, Gandini L.

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As pharmacists we believe in improving people's health. Unsatisfied with the value and complexity of available supplements, we decided to develop our own range of products with quality, convenience and value in mind.
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  • Alister

    Great stuff!

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