L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally synthesized in the liver and kidneys from the two essential amino acids: methionine and lysine. It is responsible for maintenance of good health and helping in the process of transforming food into energy by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria – the cell’s power engine.
The synthesis of L-Carnitine happens in the presence of vitamin B6, niacin, and iron and most of the synthesized L-Carnitine is stored in the muscles. Like we mentioned, adequate supply of it is needed for maintenance of good overall health.
How does L-Carnitine work?
It’s job is to transfer long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into mitochondria, where they may be oxidized and used for energy production. In this process glycogen from the muscles is spared and at the time strength and endurance are increased in the body by using fat as energy.
During intense physical efforts, the body first depletes the glycogen that stored in muscles and liver and when these sources get drained it starts using fat as energy – with L-Carnitine, this task becomes easier for the body. During this high energy output, the supply of L-carnitine also becomes exhausted. And because it’s not possible to compensate for this loss just with the diet, this is where supplements containing L-Carnitine come useful.
L-carnitine has also been shown to help individuals build muscle by sparing glycogen during physical efforts. It’s also great in dieting, as it reduces the feelings of hunger and gives you energy.
Research suggests supplying with L-Carnitine could beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney, liver and heart disease.
This amino acid can be found in food sources like: red meat, diary products and avocado, but athletes are advised to use l-carnitine supplements as addition to their diet as they are constantly in lack of it because of intense training.