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Carnitine – friend not a foe

by chris (follow)
Nutrition (269)     
Carnitine is made naturally in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine and is found in nearly all cells of the body. L-carnitine is produced in our liver and kidneys, and stored in muscles, bones, hearth, brain and sperm, and is essential for their proper function.

L-carnitine supplements are used to increase its levels in people who have naturally low levels because of a genetic disorder, certain drugs (e.g. valproic acid), or because they are undergoing a medical procedure like hemodialysis. It is also used as a replacement supplement in strict vegetarians, dieters, and premature infants.

It has been the topic of debate whether L-carnitine has positive or negative effects on our body. If you are looking for encouragement and reasons why it should be used, we will provide you with a couple of them.

Courtesy of Flickr


Obesity is one of the biggest problems of today’s society because of fast ways of living and poor nutrition. Many people battle to keep the perfect figure and get rid of the unnecessary fat; L-carnitine may help them win the war. When you wish to start a diet, it keeps your body from piling up fat, helps you burn more calories, and also reduces your appetite.

It can also increase your strength and enable you to lift heavier weights in the gym, which will eventually lead to bigger muscles. When it comes to bones, it improves the micro structural properties that prevent osteoporosis, arthritis and other diseases that people over the age of 60 have to deal with.

Courtesy of Flickr


L-carnitine can help with treating disease - from cold and seasonal allergies to some more dangerous ones. Doctors have been giving a certain amount of L-carnitine to patients who suffered heart attacks, as it has proved to lower the risk of experiencing another one.

L-carnitine also increases glucose oxidation, storage and uptake. Some small preliminary studies suggest acetyl-L-carnitine may help reduce pain in people who have problems with diabetic neuropathy (which happens when high blood sugar levels damage nerves in the body, especially arms, legs, and feet). It is also possible that L-carnitine can help nerves regenerate.

Everyone struggle with a bit of brain dysfunction from time to time, but when we get to a certain age people start advising us to take gingko or balboa. L-carnitine is also something that prevents our brain from unwanted damage and promotes more efficient functioning.

Finally, something just for men: for those with low sperm count, L-carnitine has proven to be effective in increasing sperm count and movement.

Courtesy of Flickr

From the research to date, we can conclude that carnitine is necessary to your body, and organism in general. It reduces the amount of fat and gives you strength, but also helps you overcome some minor and as well as life-threatening diseases.

The majority of people naturally produce sufficient L-carnitine - it is not recommended to take supplements unless you know that you have a deficiency, or without the supervision and guidance of a health professional.

For those who prefer to stay away from pills of any kind, by adding certain types of food to your diet you can easily increase your intake of L-carnitine: red meat and dairy products, and smaller amounts in aparagus, avocado, artichokes, broccoli, garlic, parsley, apricots, bananas, corn and oatmeal.

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