L-Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It increases the use of fat as an energy source by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are 'burned' to release energy for body functions. The L-carnitine form may cause adverse side effects however. It is available in several different forms including propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine. Propionyl-L-carnitine, through its enhancement of metabolism has been proven to prevent ischemia-induced heart dysfunction, and acetyl-L-carnitine has been suggested to delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease. L-carnitine is found naturally in avocados, breast milk, dairy products, red meats (namely lamb and beef), and tempeh (fermented soybean product). A deficiency of L-Carnitine can cause muscle fatigue, cramps, or low blood-sugar levels.
How This Supplement Works in Your Body:
Promotes normal growth and development
Possible treatment for (and maybe prevention of) some forms of cardiovascular disease
May protect against muscle disease
May help build muscle
May protect against liver disease
May protect against diabetes
May protect against kidney disease
Potential diet aid
May make low-calorie diets easier to tolerate by reducing feelings of hunger and weakness
May increase energy and activity in people with congestive heart disease
Where This Supplement is Found:
Red meats (namely lamb and beef)
Tempeh (fermented soybean product)
How to Use:
Take whole with a full glass of liquid. Do not chew or crush. Take L-carnitine with meals or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise advised by your physician.
Avoid L-carnitine tablets; they may be toxic.
Don't take if you are:
Allergic to any food protein, like eggs, milk, and wheat
At risk of poor nutrition for any reason
Pregnant, there is a possibility you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future
Consult your doctor if you:
Experience any liver or kidney problems
Do no use unless advised by your doctor. There are no proven problems in pregnant women taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.
Do no use unless advised by your doctor. There are no proven problems in breast-fed infants of lactating mothers taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.
Infants and Children:
It is hazardous to treat infants and children under 2 with any supplement.
Keep in a cool and dry location, but do not freeze.
Keep safely away from children.
Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness may alter the action of the supplement.
To date, there has been no "safe" dosage established.
Information on the comparative-toxicity rating cannot be found in standard references.
Signs and symptoms : What to do
Muscle weakness : Discontinue use. Consult your doctor.
Symptoms of myasthenia (progressive weakness of certain muscle groups without evidence of atrophy or wasting) have been reported in kidney patients being maintained for prolonged periods on hemodialysis and supplemental L-carnitine : Do not take supplements without doctor's prescription and supervision.