Carnitine: benefits and harm to be honest

Sports nutrition, slim figure, strong muscles, one of the favourite topics for discussion in modern magazines, television talk shows and the Internet. Perhaps each of us has at least once stayed in the store or pharmacy across the beautiful boxes labeled "L-carnitine. Your perfect body" or not heard, from attending fitness clubs friends, stories about an extremely effective, revolutionary tool for weight loss. So is it really works wonders mysterious carnitine?


What it is

Carnitine, derived from amino acids, is located almost in all cells of our body. Its name comes from the Latin word "carnus," meaning "meat" (originally this substance was obtained from meat). Carnitine is usually referred to a number of chemical compounds including L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine.

The role of carnitine in the human body is difficult to underestimate. Transportorul carnitine fatty acids into the mitochondria ("power plant" of the cell) where they are splitting and releasing energy, resulting in burnt off extra fat and simultaneously generates additional energyrequired to maintain high vitality. It also excretes toxic compounds, thus preventing their accumulation. Carnitine is found predominantly in skeletal and cardiac musclethat use fatty acids as their primary fuel.

The human body itself produces carnitine in amounts sufficient to maintain its normal functioning. Sometimes certain genetic or medical reasons in some people (for example, premature babies) this process of development may be compromised, therefore for them carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient.

In healthy children and adults no need to take carnitine in the form of special supplements, as the liver and kidneys from amino acids produce a sufficient amount of this substance for vitality.

Carnitine deficiency

In the body, carnitine is synthesized with the participation of vitamins C and b (especially B3, B6, B9, B12), iron, as well asaminokislotlysine and methionine and of some enzymes. The lack of at least one of the following substances can provoke deficiency of carnitine.

Most often the deficiency of this substance is found in vegetarians, athletes for increased physical activities and an unbalanced diet.

Symptoms of carnitine deficiency, as a rule, are fatigue, decreased immunity, the emergence of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

As with most natural substances, the molecule of carnitine has two forms that are mirror images of each other.

To distinguish between these forms scientists use the letters L and D. the human body operates form and in journal articles and ingredient lists of food additives under the carnitine usually referring to L-carnitine, in recent years has become probably the most advertised and popular substance that provides guaranteed and fast weight loss.

Whether this really is the effect of L-carnitine on the body weight loss, we will talk later.

What can be useful

For heart health. The beneficial effect of carnitine on cardiovascular health should be of interest to all, especially to those who are at risk of coronary heart disease. Medical studies have found a relationship between low concentrations of carnitine in the heart muscle and heart failure. Carnitine ensures increased blood flow to the heart and increased levels of "good" cholesterol, while reducing the concentration of "bad". This reduces the risk of coronary heart disease

For the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms of which include pain in muscles and joints, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, bowel problems and loss of appetite.

In diseases of the kidneys and liver, as it is these organs synthesize carnitine in the body, when these diseases there is a sharp decline in its amounts and the required external compensation.

In various infectious diseases with fever, high temperature increases the heart rate, leading to increased energy costs, and carnitine allows you to release this extra energy.

Mind – the guarantee of health, or Carnitine not "weight loss"!

Millions of people dream to have a slim body, wanting not only to gain good shape but also improve your health. Today, thanks to the development of so-called fitness industry, along with promoting active lifestyles special sports nutrition, L-carnitine has become widely known as a fat-burning Supplement that today, anyone may buy at the pharmacy, the gym and even in ordinary shopping center.

Beautiful and colourful stickers on the bottles and packages of pills just can not help but attract attention, promising (often in a foreign language without translation into Russian) to make your body perfect. However, nowhere does not appear that a necessary condition to obtain this wonderful result is the observance of proper diet, prescribed by an experienced dietitian, and sufficient physical activity.

So, one visitor on the subject of healthy eating online forum was sincerely surprised and indignant to its continuing to rise to body weight. As it turned out, the diet of this person consisted of purchased in fast food restaurants dishes that she washed down with large doses of L-carotene drinks.

Sometimes people visiting fitness centers, literally "hooked" on drugs with L-keratinom. Indeed, after beginning regular use of this dietary Supplement it seems like the performance improves, endurance increases, decreases fatigue, increases the growth of muscles and reduces the pain after training sessions.

Inspired by this fantastic effect, enthusiasts are hostages modern drugs with L-karatina containing not only useful but also harmful substances that often destroys the liver.

"My acquaintance with L-carinitine took place two years ago – complaining about another visitor to the forum. – Within 8 months I've been to the gym, Monday through Friday two classes a day and before every workout for half an hour saw L-carnitine. Got rid of the ill-fated 8 pounds. Forces was rife, regretted that on Saturday and Sunday the hall is not working. But come vacation time; I'm three months abandoned exercise and your favorite sour liquid. Appetite is doubled or tripled, and there was severe fatigue. When, finally, I decided that the extra kilos I have, I stopped to drink L-carnitine, but this time very tired so that just couldn't force myself to get up from the couch. The result: dropped pounds back in full, added chronic fatigue, not passing and at this time. I do not know to what doctor to go and where to go".

"You speak the truth! L-carnitine is an amazing thing, muscles are not clogged, the force of the sea. All suggest," writes on the same web page is another fitness buff.

From the above we can conclude the following: carnitine is not so terrible, but also not as healthy and harmless as you may think. If you plan to play sports or have them do want to have a slender toned body and to preserve health, do not succumb to the entreaties interested in the sale of so-called "sports products" fitness managers and do not pay attention to the recommendations from the category of "all the advice".

Go to a competent nutritionist and sports doctor, get tested, find out its contraindications. Tnly an experienced specialist will be able to pick the best for your physical stress and make the appointment necessary supplements in the right quantity.


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Finally, a little bit of statistics. Scientists, for twenty years engaged in research of food additives, still can't find evidence that additional intake of L-carnitine in doses of 2-6 grams (this is the amount of carnitine is contained in the freely sold drugs) can improve endurance and physical performance in healthy people. And remember: all food additives is just one of the tools on the way to your health and beauty.


Author: Svetlana Pevtsov


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©



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