The human body is a composition of different compounds that have numerous functions. These compounds are naturally present in the body and need proper nutrition to maintain their healthy levels. Carnitine is a supplement derived from amino acids that are present in all the cells of the body. Although, it’s important to consume a proper diet to retain healthy levels and avoid any mishap. The underlying article describes all the eccentricities of L-Carnitine, an essential amino acid with tremendous benefits!
What is L-Carnitine?
L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that is found in human cells. The name Carnitine is derived from the Latin word “Carnus” which means flesh. The name was given as the compound was isolated from meat. Carnitine is the generic term used, as numerous compounds can be obtained from this. These compounds include acetyl-L-Carnitine, L-Carnitine, propionyl-L-Carnitine, and many more.
The human body produces Carnitine to meet the needs of the body. Although there are cases where the body is not able to fulfill the needs of Carnitine. And, thus, in such cases, the supplements with Carnitine are supplied to the body.
Essential supplements that are needed for the production of L-Carnitine.
L-Carnitine is produced from amino acids. Lysine and Methionine play a significant role in the production of L-Carnitine. In addition to amino acids, the human body needs plenty of Vitamin C. It helps in the conversion of Lysine and Methionine into L-Carnitine. Numerous dietary supplements contain L-Carnitine in natural form as well. These supplements include meat, pork, chicken, beef, fish and milk. Other animal-based products may also contain small amounts of L-Carnitine.
It might be difficult for vegetarians to obtain L-Carnitine from their diet. Also, people with certain genetic conditions might be unable to produce L-Carnitine naturally or obtain it from food. It makes L-Carnitine a conditionally essential nutrient.
Types of L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine is considered as the standard form of Carnitine which is more biologically active than other forms. It is found in the human body, foods, and other supplements. The underlying pointers describe the different forms of L-Carnitine.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Acetyl-L-Carnitine is often referred to as ALCAR. It is one of the most effective forms of L-Carnitine with benefits in the functioning of the neurons and brain. It has neuroprotective properties that help prevent the degeneration of neurons. Further, it can also protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases.
- Propionyl-L-Carnitine: It has benefits in circulatory issues. Propionyl-L-Carnitine is the best remedy for peripheral vascular diseases and prevents high blood pressure. It is also responsible to retain normal blood pressure levels. It helps promote healthy blood flow as it increases the production of nitric oxide.
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: It is well known for its ability to increase the absorption rate and thus it is used in numerous supplements. These supplements are ideal for athletes as they need to push their workouts harder without any barriers. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate helps in the speedy recovery of the muscles and reduces muscle soreness which makes it ideal for athletes.
Role of L-Carnitine in Human Body
L-Carnitine has different roles to play in the human body. But, the main role of L-Carnitine involves mitochondrial function and energy production. L-Carnitine has a significant role in producing energy. And thus, it helps in preventing diseases and supporting healthy aging of the body.
Another function of L-Carnitine is the transportation of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria. Here, these fatty acids are oxidized to produce energy. That is, the process of fat burning occurs with the help of L-Carnitine.
Further, it helps transport the toxic compounds produced in the cells out and prevent their accumulation. As L-Carnitine has to play these key roles, it is found in the cardiac and skeletal tissues.
Different forms of L-Carnitine have different functions on brain and heart health. It supports the healthy conditions of the heart and brain and prevents their respective diseases.
Health Benefits of L-Carnitine
In addition to the body functions here are some excellent benefits of L-Carnitine.
- Weight loss: L-Carnitine supports the fat burning process and removal of toxins from the body and this is the reason that a few studies have found that it can be effective in weight loss. Although stronger pieces of evidence are needed at present it can be stated that L-Carnitine supports obese older adults in weight loss.
- Brain Function: Humans notice a mental decline with aging which results in weak memory and some cases Alzheimer’s and other diseases. L-Carnitine not only supports brain function but also reduces the chances of these diseases. It also helps recover memory strength and improve neuroprotective functions.
- Heart Health: Heart issues are directly related to high blood pressure and chronic inflammation. L-Carnitine helps reduce blood pressure and other inflammation associated with heart diseases. It helps improve severe heart conditions like coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure and aids a better life.
- Exercise Performance: L-Carnitine may improve exercise recovery and increase the supply of oxygen to the muscles. It increases nitric oxide production which improves the blood flow and the supply of essential nutrients across the body. Further, it helps reduce discomfort and fatigue due to workouts and also reduce muscle soreness. It helps elevate the production of red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body and muscles.
- Diabetes: It helps reduce the symptoms and harmful effects of Type 2 Diabetes and associated risk factors. It helps reduce blood sugar levels. Further, it increases the production of the AMPK enzyme which supports the use of carbohydrates.
L-Carnitine in limited dosage doesn’t show any side effects. Although, the increase in the dosage cab causes mild to severe side effects. These side effects include headache, nausea, and stomach discomfort.
However, it can increase the levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide also known as TMAO, with continuous use. High TMAO levels can increase the risk of atherosclerosis. It is a disease that clogs the arteries and can result in other severe issues.
L-Carnitine is well-known for its benefits, but there is a need for more studies and evidence. The overall research of the compound to date is mixed as it shows excellent effects on some and mild on others. Witnessing the benefits of L-Carnitine, it is added to different bodybuilding and fat-cutting supplements along with other components. It can show good effects in combination and when used in limited amounts. The current pieces of evidence support better mental and heart health and thus can be beneficial for the same.
Supplements can be ideal for adults and vegans as they won’t get a significant amount of L-Carnitine from their diet. Other forms of L-Carnitine are also found effective in a wide range of people.
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