We often see this in TV commercials and print advertisements. L-carnitine is among the ingredients used in supplements and weight loss products. An amino acid-derived compound, L-carnitine got its name from carnus. This is a Latin term that means flesh. This is because the compound was first extracted from meat in the early part of the 1900s.
L-carnitine is now available as a key nutrient in diet and healthy juices. It is also prevalent in dietary pills or supplements. One of the important roles of this compound is that it helps the fatty acids reach the mitochondria found inside the cells. Researchers also claim that our body can also produce L-carnitine. To do so, we need sufficient vitamin C, methionine and lysine.
L-carnitine is the most common type of carnitine that our body produces. There are also other carnitine types that our body needs. Acetyl-L-carnitine is among them. It is important to help patients with neurodegenerative conditions. Propinionyl-L-carnitine is also essential to us. It helps boost our blood flow and address high blood pressure, peripheral vascular condition and other circulatory disorders. D-carnitine and L-carnitine L-tartrate are the other popular carnitine types.
Now that we know how important L-carnitine is, it is about time to explore how L-carnitine can truly benefit us.
What Is the Primary Contribution of L-Carnitine to Our Body?
This amino acid contributes to the way our body produces energy and mitochondria functions. As it boosts the way the mitochondria works, this amino acid is expected to help delay the signs of aging. Recent clinical studies also show the compound to help alleviate brain and heart diseases.
Truth Behind L-Carnitine’s Contribution to Weight Loss
L-carnitine is a popular compound in weight loss items despite the controversy surrounding its effectiveness in this matter. However, a certain clinical study has proven the compound’s contribution to the loss of weight. This research which was participated by older adults as well as obese patients indicated around 1.3-kilogram weight loss in patients who had L-carnitine. To maximize its benefits, researchers still promote that this amino acid is used along with proper diet and regular exercise.
How Does the Compound Impact Brain Function?
Boosting the functioning of our brain is one of the benefits that we can get from having a sufficient supply of L-carnitine in our body. Findings from several clinical research prove the statement above to be true. According to the studies, acetyl-L-carnitine is crucial to address brain function delay due to the development or recurrence of brain illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to reversing brain decline, the compound is helpful in ensuring that every part of our brain is safe from cell deaths and cellular level damages.
L-Carnitine Helps Promote Cardiovascular Health
Are you having troubles managing your blood pressure? Why not add this amino acid-derived supplement to your daily diet. A clinical study indicated a significant decrease in the systolic blood pressure of patients who took two grams of the compound on a daily basis.
Aside from blood pressure management, this amino acid also helps boost the conditions of people who are suffering from chronic heart failure, coronary heart disease as well as other medical conditions affecting the cardiovascular system.
Another clinical research showed similar result. After introducing L-carnitine to participants, the study found a significant decline in the number of deaths and heart failure occurrence in patients who had the amino acid.
Athletes Need L-Carnitine
Athletes are among the people who should consider taking L-carnitine. This is because a lot of studies found the compound to be helpful in boosting our sports and exercise performance. However, intake of L-carnitine should be continuous and should be long-term. This is because its results and contributions to performance will start to show after weeks or months of taking it. It is one of the reasons why L-carnitine is less popular to athletes than creatine or caffeine as the latter’s effects on sports performance will be immediately felt.
Listed below are the detailed benefits that people with active lifestyle can get from intaking L-carnitine:
- Speeds up the recovery period from exercise.
- Boosts oxygen transport to the muscles.
- Enhances our stamina by stimulating the production of nitric oxide.
- Addresses soreness of the muscles after strenuous activities.
- Improves red blood cells production.
L-Carnitine’s Effect on Patients With Diabetes
L-carnitine is offering a lot of benefits to us. Among those who can truly enjoy this amino acid are the patients who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. A recent clinical study participated by patients with the medical condition and who are in anti-diabetes medicines found a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels after taking supplements with the compound. In addition to lowering the levels of blood sugar, L-carnitine also shows promise in boosting the number of AMPK enzyme in our body which is essential to alleviate the development of diabetes.
What Are the Best Sources of L-Carnitine?
After learning about the different benefits that we can get from L-carnitine, you might be asking where to get it. A lot of supplements available in the commercial market has L-carnitine. However, if you still prefer the sources that are more natural, it is best to determine foods which are rich in this amino acid.
Beef offers a high content of L-carnitine. For every 85 grams of beef, there is approximately 81 milligrams of this compound. As for pork lovers, the same amount as the beef contains 24 milligrams of L-carnitine. If you are not into pork or beef, might as well eat fish and chicken. Why? Because these contain five and three milligrams for every 85 grams of meat. Adding a glass of milk to your daily diet will also be helpful. This is for the reason that you can get eight milligrams of L-carnitine to ever 227 millimeters of milk.
As from my point of view, I agree with the recommendation of many researchers to depend on food sources for L-carnitine need than from supplements. Aside from safety and health issues, food sources with L-carnitine is more beneficial as our body absorbs more of the compound when it is taken from food sources than from supplements.