L-Carnitine is named from the Latin word ‘carnus’ meaning flesh, due to the fact it is found in meats. There is some confusion because many believe L-carnitine cannot be produced in our bodies. In reality, it can.
Unfortunately, L-carnitine can only be made when your body contains sufficient vitamins, lysine and methionine present. When there are not sufficient amounts of these vitamins present, only an insufficient amount of carnitine is made. This makes supplements very useful. Of the carnitine in your body, around 98% is found in your muscles, brain and heart.
L-Carnitine Increases the Release of Energy from the Fat
L-carnitine has one main role – to help your body use fat as a viable energy source. When you eat foods, insulin helps to determine how foods are stored. Stored fat is an energy source. When it is needed, these fatty acids must be burned to make energy. To burn, or oxidize, these fatty acids they must be transported. L-carnitine moves the fats into the mitochondria of your cells. Mitochondria are like the cell’s oven. L-carnitine transports the fat to the mitochondria where the fat encounters mitochondria’s ‘furnace.’ Oxidized, these fatty acids release energy when they are burned into ATP.
Because L-carnitine increases the release of energy from the fat, it is an effective and powerful fat burner, helping you lose weight and fat at a higher rate. Fat burning also enhances a ‘cut’ look, showing sharp muscle definition without a layer of fat to obscure it. Along with significant fat burning properties, L-carnitine increases your metabolism by promoting healthy muscle growth. Many muscle cells are where fatty acids are oxidized.
L-carnitine is valued for its benefits because L-carnitine is already naturally produced, in very low quantities, in the body. This makes L-carnitine very safe while being powerfully effective.
L-Carnitine Increases Tolerance for Exercise
Many people interested in weight or fat loss are burdened with a low desire to exercise. Carnitine increases tolerance for exercise. This is not only beneficial to those losing weight, but athletes and weightlifters will also enjoy improved stamina through carnitine. A syndrome known as Chronic Fatigue can also benefit from carnitine. Increased activity combined with increased fat burning allows weight and fat to be lost at a much higher rate.
L-Carnitine Regulates Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels
Cholesterol levels can be improved with L-carnitine. While triglycerides (bad) levels are lowered, HDL (good) cholesterol levels are raised. Improved cholesterol levels provide heart-healthy benefits.
Low blood sugar levels in your body can cause you to feel grouchy, tired and unmotivated. Known as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar levels can cause you to grab a snack high in sugar. Unfortunately, while this snack will quickly increase your sugar levels, your levels will then sharply drop again. This roller coaster of ups and downs is not healthy. L-carnitine improves sugar levels. This allows you to focus on healthy foods, rather than snacking. You will have much needed energy to focus on your day, waking you back up from a groggy sugar low.