What is it, and what role does it play in the human body?
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that our body produces. Our body synthesizes it from the amino acids lysine and methionine as well as vitamins C, B3, B12, folic acid, and iron. The absence of any of these components limits the biosynthesis of L-Carnitine. The human body contains about 2-2.5 grams of L-Carnitine, concentrated mainly in the heart, muscles, liver, and immune cells. Breast milk also contains a large amount of L-Carnitine. It is important for newborns because their bodies cannot produce it on its own.
In the human body, L-Carnitine plays the role of a cellular transporter. There are “energy centers” in our body’s cells called mitochondria, and they need energy. This is where L-Carnitine comes in, which transports fatty acids to the mitochondria. This is his only role. In this way, L-Carnitine increases fat burning and energy production. Many scientists call L-Carnitine a conditionally non-essential acid. This means that there are times when our body cannot produce adequate amounts of this amino acid. These are periods in which our body is subjected to heavy physical exertion, infections, and stress. L-Carnitine production also decreases with age. Prolonged treatment with some medications can also lead to L-Carnitine deficiency.
The first signs of L-Carnitine deficiency are insignificant and can often be ignored. Possible consequences of insufficient intake of L-Carnitine include reduced physical endurance, rapid fatigue, exhaustion, decreased fat metabolism, increased storage of fat in tissues, increased sensitivity to viruses, increased levels of fat in the blood.
The benefits of L-Carnitine
From the above information, it can be concluded that increased intake of L-Carnitine may have positive effects on fat burning, and in fact, many scientific studies confirm this connection. Since its discovery, more than 1,800 scientific papers have been published investigating its benefits in the increased intake. Increased intake of L-Carnitine can lead to:
- Increased fat burning – by increasing your intake of L-Carnitine you would have more transport units to transport fat to the mitochondria and thus burn more fat. Of course, this would have the greatest effect if you create the right conditions for burning fat. (energy shortage)
- Increase of endurance in Phys. loads – because L-Carnitine improves fat burning, indirectly, increases endurance in physical. loads
- Boost immunity – L-Carnitine acts as an antioxidant and reduces the effects of free radicals
- Positive effects on cardiovascular diseases – according to scientists, L-Carnitine can lead to positive effects on people with cardiovascular problems. Some studies show that taking L-Carnitine reduces the risk of a heart attack in people who have already had a heart attack.
- Improving sperm quality – according to scientists L-Carnitine improves both the quality of sperm and their number
- Improving brain function
- Increase bone mass – according to some studies L-Carnitine reduces bone loss
Which foods contain L-Carnitine?
Although our body synthesizes L-Carnitine, the greater amount of L-Carnitine in our body comes from food. L-Carnitine is found mainly in meat. In-game meat and ruminants the content is the highest (1000-2200 mg/kg per 100 g), and pork and rabbit up to 300 mg/kg. Other meats, fish, eggs, and milk also contain L-Carnitine, but in smaller amounts. Vegetables contain almost no L-Carnitine. Therefore, if you are a vegetarian, you can increase your intake of L-Carnitine only through a dietary supplement.
L-Carnitine as a dietary supplement
Serious athletes and people with L-Carnitine deficiency can increase their intake through dietary supplements containing L-Carnitine.
L-Carnitine is the form you should take. Avoid D-Carnitine as it can be toxic. This is the mirror form of L-Carnitine and it is difficult for many manufacturers to chemically separate the two forms. As a result, there are L-carnitine supplements that contain a minimal amount of D-Carnitine.
The largest L-Carnitine is produced only by the Swiss company Lonza under the trade name CarniPure. Many food supplement manufacturers use Swiss L-Carnitine in their products. If you do not have the opportunity to buy 100% pure L-Carnitine, try to buy L-Carnitine with the highest possible purity. Liquid forms of L-Carnitine are best absorbed and therefore it is best to take them.
Usually, 2 to 4 grams per day is an intake that would take advantage of the positive effects of L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine is absorbed very quickly and therefore it is good to take it immediately before training. You can also take it in the morning.
L-Carnitine is considered a safe supplement with negligible side effects. In rare cases, recipients may experience stomach discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle spasms. Take L-Carnitine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.