L-Carnitine Benefits and What Is It?
What is l-carnitine and what are the benefits of this amino acid? I hear that question a lot, so I decided to write an article about it. I actually didn’t know a lot about this but I’ve done a lot of research on it and learned a lot while doing that!
What is L-Carnitine?
The most common definition of l-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in a healthy human body. L-carnitine and other amino acids have important functions as building blocks for proteins within the body and as controllers of metabolism and other functions at the cellular level.
How Does L-Carnitine Work?
L-carnitine’s chemical reactions assist the human body by aiding in the production of energy. Proper levels of l-carnitine are essential for heart muscle function, increased brain function, higher levels of muscle movement, and other body essential body processes.
How Is L-Carnitine Used Medically For Better Health?
* Heart-related chest pain
* Some instances of congestive heart failure or CHF
* Heart complications from diphtheria
Because some medications can disturb the natural levels of amino acids in the body, some people use l-carnitine for muscle disorders associated with certain AIDS medications as well as other medications. It is believed that increased amino acids, specifically l-carnitine has helped increase the protein levels needed when there are male fertility problems. They are commonly used to relieve symptoms of brain development disorders such as Rett syndrome.
L-carnitine is used when people suffer from ailments such as:
L-carnitine is believed to often help smooth out the peaks and valleys of these types of disorders. Increased amino acid levels are assumed to naturally improve athletic performance, overall stamina, and long term levels of endurance.
Does It Help To Use L-Carnitine For Weight Control?
The natural assumption is that any substance which plays a role in metabolism can be increased and will naturally increase metabolism and aid in weight loss. While this is certainly true for some individuals, not all people who use l-carnitine as a supplement achieve weight loss benefits. The court is still out among researches with scientific studies to support different sides of this discussion.
It is more accurate to assume that l-carnitine aids in the burning of fat in some individuals. Especially where supplements are concerned, there are many variables such as the exact diet of the individual, exercise levels, general health and lifestyle issues, environment, and other factors. Since l-carnitine is naturally occurring in the body, genetic ties to each individual cannot be ignored when considering this type of amino acid for the purpose of weight control.
Another complication to the world of weight loss deals with the replacement of fat with muscle mass which is heavier. Therefore, the use of l-carnitine can increase actual weight even though it is aiding the body by replacing fat with muscle. This line of thinking means that l-carnitine can be more useful for muscle recovery after intense exercise or body building rather than being considered strictly as a weight loss supplement.
Rather than the consideration of using l-carnitine as a weight loss supplement, it is safer to say that over time the muscle recovery aspects could allow longer and more intense exercise sessions. Increased exercise sessions would in turn burn fat and help with the loss of weight rather than relying on the amino acid to magically decrease fat by chemical reaction within the body.
Further study is needed to discover the exact role these supplements play in overall health.
Acetyl L-Carnitine vs L-Carnitine
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a newer and supposed to be better version of the regular l-carnitine, here is why:
- It more readily crosses the blood-brain barrier
- Is possibly absorbed / taken up by cells and enters the mitochondria more readily (I’ve seen some conflicting information on this though)
- It can function as a donor of its acetyl group to choline to produce acetylcholine
- It is more effective than L-Carnitine for neuroprotection.
This was really all I could find!
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