If you are having difficulty losing weight, your body could need more l-carnitine. What does l-carnitine do? It is responsible for several things, but its ability to burn fat and suppress the appetite is why many people use it as a fitness supplement. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is L-Carnitine?
Before we can answer the question “What does l-carnitine do?” we must first explain what it is. Put simply, l-carnitine is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is responsible for transferring long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria. Once this happens, the mitochondria can then be used to produce energy. It is made in the liver and kidneys and stored in several other parts of the body, including the muscles, brain, and heart. L-carnitine is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which is why it is effective at treating a number of conditions including heart disease.
What Does L-Carnitine Do?
L-carnitine performs a number of functions, particularly when it comes to helping people shed fat and build muscle. This is partly because it provides greater energy for working out, while at the same time suppressing the appetite to prevent binge eating. Weightlifters often use it to build strength and increase their ability to lift heavier weights. Research indicates that it can improve exercise ability among patients who suffer from chest pain, provided it is not due to blocked arteries. It also improves aerobic capacity so that you burn more calories while you exercise.
Reasons to Supplement
Some studies show that intense exercise causes l-carnitine levels in the blood to drop. As such, athletes could require supplements for maximum performance. Others who may need supplements include:
- Breastfeeding mothers, as nursing tends to naturally deplete levels.
- Those who are concerned with bone loss due to aging. L-carnitine combined with weight training helps prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs as people grow older.
- Patients with kidney disease, since less l-carnitine is produced whenever the kidneys are not functioning normally.
- Men with a low sperm count, since low levels can lead to infertility.
How to Take L-Carnitine
The Linus Pauling Institute recommends taking between 500 and 1,000 mg daily. This supplement is available in liquid, capsule, or tablet form, and can easily be taken by mouth. Healthcare providers sometimes administer it intravenously when using it to treat certain medical conditions. You can naturally increase the amount of l-carnitine in your diet by consuming more red meat (particularly lamb) and dairy products. Bee pollen is a primary source of l-carnitine, as is brewer’s yeast. Other foods that contain high amounts of it include:
- Collard greens
- Whole wheat
- Rice bran
What does l-carnitine do? That’s a question that lots of people are asking these days. The truth is that this amino acid provides numerous benefits. Not only can taking l-carnitine help you better reach your fitness goals, but it can also allow you to enjoy numerous other health benefits.