L-carnitine is one of the amino acids your body produces naturally. You can get it from foods such as animal proteins or dietary supplements, and it can aid in weight loss and improve your brain function.
Do you crave a healthy and well-functioning body? Among the beneficial nutrients and compounds you need is L-carnitine, the active form of carnitine. It helps produce energy by transporting fatty acids into your mitochondria, where the fats are burnt to release energy. The good news is that you can always obtain this compound from food sources or supplement the same. Also, there are many benefits associated with this compound. Keep on reading to discover more on L-carnitine, the benefits, food sources, dosage, and potential side effects.
What is L-Carnitine?
There are different compounds in your body, and a general term used to describe some of them is carnitine. One of its major forms is L-carnitine. However, what exactly is this? It is an amino acid structure produced by your body that aids in the production of energy. A greater percentage, 98%, is in your muscles, while the remaining percentage is in your liver and blood.Also, you can get it from the food you eat; hence, your diet plays a role. Furthermore, there are other supplement sources of this compound.
The dietary supplements come in handy for vegans since they don’t take animal proteins such as meat and fish or those with genetic issues inhibiting the production of enough amounts of L-carnitine.
Other than this active form of carnitine, the other types include;
- L-carnitine L-tartrate
As much as there are different forms of carnitine, you should always go for what suits your needs best.
As you now know, your body is responsible for producing L-carnitine. However, when you require an extra amount to meet your daily needs, you can decide to take it from your diet. The following are some foods that contain this compound;
- Red meat
The good thing about consuming L-carnitine in food rather than supplements is the better absorption rate.
The following are some of the benefits you can get from L-carnitine;
Help In Energy Production
This is one of the most important roles of L-carnitine in your body. It aids your mitochondria in functioning properly and produce energy. It is at the mitochondria where the fatty acids are burnt to produce energy.
May Improve Your Brain Function
According to some studies, if you take L-carnitine daily, you might improve how well your brain functions. This translates to a reduced risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related conditions.
May Aid in Weight Loss
Have you battled weight loss for a while now? You might be glad about the speculations of the potential link of L-carnitine with weight loss. Remember, this compound helps in the burning of the fatty acids into energy. Therefore, you might argue it can help you lose weight in the long run. Unfortunately, a study conducted on some women showed no difference in weight loss between those who consumed this compound and those who didn’t.
So, does it mean all is lost? Not really. On the contrary, when certain obese individuals and older adults took L-carnitine, they lost some weight.
Therefore, as much as there are mixed reactions on whether or not this compound can help you lose weight, you can give it a try.
May Improve Your Heart Health
L-carnitine can help you have good heart health. However, more research is needed to show how effective it is. Also, if your heart is failing, you can consume carnitine supplements to improve the condition by improving blood circulation, leading to short-term improvement. Moreover, when you take the supplementation, you can reduce your chances of developing heart failure.
With so many potential health benefits, you probably want to consume this compound too. However, what is the right dosage, and who should take it? The amount of L-carnitine you can take depends on your reasons for doing so and your general health. Generally, when you want to consume L-carnitine, you should take around 1-3 grams daily.
As a healthy adult, you shouldn’t worry about taking supplements or foods rich in this compoundbecause the amount produced by your liver and kidneys is enough.On the other hand, a vegetarian can consider supplements as a good source of this compound.
Also, if you would like to take the supplements, it is bestyou first talk to your doctor. Remember, it shouldn’t react with any medication you are currently under, so a health provider’s advice and recommendation are key.Also, if you have an underlying condition, it is good to get a doctor’s recommendation.
The Side Effects and Risks
If you have thought of consuming this compound, well, you might be glad to know the results of many; a majority of consumers tolerate it. However, some have been reported to experience some side effects. These include;
- Stomach cramps
Moreover, some have complained of having a weird smell which may be a bother. Also, according to some studies, too much L-carnitine can lead to increased chances of having cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, when you consume the supplements, they might interact with other medications you might be under, such as antibiotics. Therefore, if you have a certain underlying condition or taking some drugs, you should consult your doctor first. Besides, if you take the supplements daily- you might end up having increased levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide in your blood.
L-carnitine is a compound responsible for the production of energy in your body. Your body naturallyproduces it, but you can also consume it in meat and fish. Also, you can take supplements. However, this is not advisable for healthy individuals unless they have certain medical conditions. Also, some of those who can benefit from the supplements are vegans.
Moreover, your consumption of this compound can lead to certain benefits. It can aid in weight loss, improve your heart health and even improve your brain function. However, in some cases, more research is necessary.