This is actually my favorite supplement of all time! It’s a must have when dieting down for a contest as it can help incinerate those stubborn fat cells and plays a critical role in energy production. So what exactly is L-Carnitine?

Carnitine, derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all cells of the body. Its name is derived from the Latin carnus or flesh, as the compound was isolated from meat. Carnitine is the generic term for a number of compounds that include L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine [1,2].

It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation. Given these key functions, L-Carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel [1,2].

Type 2 diabetes
Insulin resistance, which plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, may be associated with a defect in fatty-acid oxidation in muscle [3]. This raises the question of whether mitochondrial dysfunction might be a factor in the development of the disease. Increased storage of fat in lean tissues has become a marker for insulin resistance [3]. Early research suggests that supplementation with L-carnitine intravenously may improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics by decreasing fat levels in muscle and may lower glucose levels in the blood by more promptly increasing its oxidation in cells [3-5]. A recent analysis of two multicenter clinical trials of subjects with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes found that treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine (3 grams/day orally) for one year provided significant relief of nerve pain and improved vibration perception in those with diabetic neuropathy. The treatment was most effective in subjects with type 2 diabetes of short duration [6].

My pick:

I’ve tried many brands including pill form and liquid. The best bang for your buck with cost, effectiveness, taste and quality is Pro Supps L-Carnitine 3000. (Go with the Berry flavor)

 

References

  1. Rebouche CJ. Carnitine. In: Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th Edition (edited by Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross, AC). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, New York, 1999, pp. 505-12.
  2. The editors. Carnitine: lessons from one hundred years of research. Ann NY Acad Sci 2004;1033:ix-xi.
  3. Mingrone G. Carnitine in type 2 diabetes. Ann NY Acad Sci 2004;1033:99-107.
  4. 4De Gaetano A, Mingrone G, Castagneto M, Calvani M. Carnitine increases glucose disposal in humans. J Am Coll Nutr 1999;18:289-95.
  5. Mingrone G, Greco AV, Capristo E, Benedetti G, Giancaterini A, De Gaetano A, Gasbarrini G. L-carnitine improves glucose disposal in type 2 diabetic patients. J Am Coll Nutr 1999;77-82.
  6. Sima AAF, Calvani M, Mehra M, Amato A. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials. Diabetes Care 2005;28:96-101.

Jamie Bernau

Personal Trainer, on-line coach

2 Comments

Rach Jacob · April 10, 2018 at 5:57 pm

What's your opinion on woman over 40 using it to reduce body fat, increase strength for weight training and increase energy?

    Jamie Bernau · April 11, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Carnitine is a type of amino acid that benefits energy levels by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria where they can be burned up and used as fuel. It’s an amino acid so it will help with muscle repair. It’s not gender or age specific. Increasing strength and energy will mostly come from your nutrition and training.

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