Updated date:

Health and Anti-Aging Benefits of L-carnitine

Angela has lived with many inflammatory illnesses. Through the changes in her diet and the use of supplements, her life has turned around.

Beef and other meats are a great source for L-carnitine.

Beef and other meats are a great source for L-carnitine.

What is L-Carnitine?

L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your liver and kidneys then stored in your muscles, heart, brain, and other tissues. Unfortunately, our bodies generally do not produce enough of this nutrient, especially those who take certain drugs like valproic acid or have undergone medical procedures like hemodialysis; therefore, our bodies need to get this amino acid through other means.

Meat and dairy products are primary sources of L-carnitine, but not so much in vegetables. The nutrient is essential because it helps utilize the fat stored in your body as energy and helps your body transport toxins out of its tissues. By using up the fat stored, it allows for a quicker weight-loss, which makes this very beneficial to those who are seeking to lose weight.

Toxins built up in the body often get outsourced to the skin; therefore, the more toxins that leave the inner body through other means will not go to the skin, allowing our skin to remain firm and healthy. This nutrient also benefits those who love to work out, as this will strengthen your heart and improve sport's endurance.

Unfortunately, some are more apt to be deficient in this amino acid aside from those with medical conditions, such as strict vegetarians, chronic dieters, those with anorexia, as well as low-weight or premature infants. Part of keeping us young is taking care of the inside of our bodies. This amino acid can do precisely that, by assisting those with congestive heart failure, heart attacks, leg pain caused by circulation problems, high cholesterol, and other heart complications.

L-carnitine is also used to help treat many of the most common diseases, including ADHD, Lyme disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue, male infertility, and leg ulcers.

By removing the toxins from your body, it can help you look and feel young.

By removing the toxins from your body, it can help you look and feel young.

How to Know if You Are Deficient of L-Carnitine

If there is a deficiency, some of your body's most common signs include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Cardiomyopathy

Fortunately, there is a natural cure by taking an L-carnitine supplement. Even without a deficiency, an increased amount can help improve your overall health, especially in keeping you feeling and looking young. L-carnitine will help keep your skin look young, by ridding the body of toxins. The better your body functions, the less wear and tear there will be on both the inside and outside of your body.

12 Benefits Of L-Carnitine

Fortunately, there are numerous benefits to L-carnitine that will assist in keeping your body healthy.

  1. Helps rid the body of toxins and poisons
  2. Increases energy level
  3. Improves brain functioning and motor functioning, as well as slows progressions of diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
  4. Helps with depression
  5. Helps prevent heart damage during a heart attack and assists in recovery, which lowers the risk of further complications
  6. Prevents muscular atrophy in some degenerative muscular conditions, such as cancer and AIDS
  7. Improves sperm count, as well as speed and mobility of sperm for those with male infertility
  8. Assists those with hyperthyroidism, by easing symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and a racing heart
  9. Prevents fatigue and weakness in those who are on dialysis
  10. Increases red blood cell count in those with severe kidney disease
  11. Improves low birth weight
  12. Prevents side effects that occur due to the seizure medication valproic acid

Natural Source of L-Carnitine from Food

Meat and dairy products are the primary natural sources of L-Carnitine, although many other foods also contain lower levels of the amino acid.

Apricots

Artichokes

Asparagus

Avocado

Bananas

Beans

Beef

Bee Pollen

Brewer's Yeast

Broccoli

Brussells Sprouts

Buckwheat

Carob

Chicken Breast

Cod Fish

Cooked Rice

Corn

Cottage Cheese

Eggs

Garlic

Ice Cream

Kale

Legumes

Lentils

Milk

Mustard Greens

Oatmeal

Okra

Orange Juice

Parsley

Peanuts

Peas

Pork

Rye

Seeds

Wheat

Cheese

Cheese and other dairy products are a natural source for L-carnitine.

Cheese and other dairy products are a natural source for L-carnitine.

Side Effects

Whenever taking supplements, it is essential to know what amount is safe and for whom. Taking a supplement by mouth is safe for most people; even small amounts are safe short-term for children. As with most supplements, not enough is known about its safety in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; therefore, avoid it unless specifically approved by your doctor.

Injection supplements are also available, although it should only be taken with the approval of a health professional. Some adverse side effects of L-carnitine include:

  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Fishy odor of breath, sweat, or urine

Although it is encouraged and safe for those with hyperthyroidism, a person with hypothyroidism should not take it, since it can make the symptoms worse.

Another unfortunate side effect is that those who have a history of seizures may experience an increased risk of having additional seizures due to this amino acid, which is unfortunate since it can make the side effects of seizure medications better. For this reason, you need to discuss with your doctor if you have ever suffered a history of seizures.

L-Carnitine Supplementation

One of the most common ways to take this supplement is in capsule form. The average person should consume at least 20-200 mg per day, but you will find most supplements provide a higher milligram than that.

L-carnitine also comes in liquid and shot form. The liquid form, although possessing a higher absorption rate than the capsule, is also significantly more expensive for the same amount. For those who may have absorption issues, the shot is the most easily absorbed since it does not have to be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Although it may sound scary, shots are quite easy to give to oneself.

Attention: As with all supplements, it is strongly advised to discuss with your doctor or nutritionist before you begin to take it, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. They will be able to advise you whether there will be any complications and if it is beneficial for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

Dianna Mendez on August 30, 2012:

I have heard of this before and I am glad that I caught your article on this. Good information to know before going with the option of shots. Voted up.

Farhat from Delhi on August 30, 2012:

great information ....specially for ageing women like me (always worried about the increasing facial lines) who finds the hub more valuable..hahah!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on August 28, 2012:

LOL, I didn't even think of that. LOL... Sadly, I thought it looked appetizing, despite not being cooked. :)

Natasha from Hawaii on August 28, 2012:

A reason to eat beef and cheese? I'm on board!

It's somehow amusing to me that the plate of raw meat is from "Ivan." Somehow, I'm not surprised that a (presumably) Russian sat down and took a photo of raw beef.