What is L-Carnitine?
An amino acid involved in generating energy is called L-carnitine. It aids the body's conversion of fat to energy. Red meat and other animal-based foods contain L-carnitine.
L-carnitine supplements are frequently promoted as tools for weight loss. However, these claims are not backed by any scientific data. L-carnitine actually has no effect on weight loss, according to the majority of studies (1, 2).
The amino acids lysine and methionine are used by the body to make L-carnitine. Additionally, it can be acquired through food or supplements. There are several forms of L-carnitine supplements, including capsules, tablets, powders, and injectables.
Other alleged advantages of L-carnitine include increased exercise efficiency, heart health, brain function, and male fertility. The majority of these claims, however, are supported by anecdotal evidence, so more research is necessary.
When taken in the recommended dosages, L-carnitine is generally regarded as safe. However, adverse reactions like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, and a fishy body odor are possible. People with kidney or liver disease should use L-carnitine with caution.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should stay away from L-carnitine supplements. L-carnitine supplements should be used cautiously by diabetics as well because they can lower blood sugar levels.
L-carnitine supplements are sold over the counter. However, as with all supplements, it's crucial to pick a reliable brand and consult your doctor.
When taken properly by mouth, L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people. Supplemental L-carnitine is generally free of side effects. Along with heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a fishy aftertaste, L-carnitine has a host of undesirable effects.
People with kidney or liver disease should use L-carnitine with caution. Women who are pregnant or nursing should stay away from L-carnitine supplements. L-carnitine supplements should be used cautiously by diabetics as well because they can lower blood sugar levels.
There may be drug interactions with L-carnitine. The list of drugs that L-carnitine might interact with is provided below. Not all medications that may interact with L-carnitine are included in this list.
Tylenol contains acetaminophen.
ACE inhibitors, such as lisinopril (Zestril), enalapril (Vasotec), and captopril (Capoten), reduce blood pressure.
Beta blockers like propranolol (Inderal) and metoprolol (Lopressor)
Calcium channel blockers like verapamil (Calan) and diltiazem (Cardizem)
Prednisone (Deltasone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and dexamethasone (Decadron) are examples of corticosteroids.
Insulin, metformin (Glucophage), glipizide (Glucotrol), and glyburide (Micronase, Glynase) are examples of diabetes medications.
Statins, such as lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and pravastatin (Pravachol), are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
NSAIDs, including naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
using oral contraceptives
Phenothiazines like trifluoperazine (Stelazine), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), and prochlorperazine
Levothyroxine (Synthroid), liothyronine (Cytomel), and L-thyroxine (Levoxyl) are common thyroid medications.
Retroviral drug zidovudine
If you are taking clozapine (Clozaril), avoid taking L-carnitine supplements. L-carnitine may make seizures more likely for clozapine users.
If you are taking warfarin (Coumadin), avoid taking L-carnitine supplements. Warfarin's effects could be enhanced by l-carnitine.
If you are taking zidovudine (Retrovir), avoid taking L-carnitine supplements. L-carnitine may lessen zidovudine's effectiveness.
The right amount of L-carnitine to take depends on a number of variables, including the user's age, health, and other conditions. A suitable dose range for L-carnitine cannot currently be determined due to a lack of sufficient scientific data. Keep in mind that dosages can be crucial and that natural products aren't always safe. Prior to using, make sure to read and follow all applicable instructions on product labels and speak with your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare professional.
The following dosage has been researched in academic studies:
L-carnitine dosages of 500–2500 mg per day have been used for up to a year to treat heart disease. 1 gram of L-carnitine has been taken daily for up to 3 months to improve brain function in Alzheimer's patients. For up to six months, 1-3 grams of L-carnitine per day, sometimes combined with L-acetylcarnitine, has been used to improve the quality of sperm. For two weeks, 500 mg of L-carnitine was taken daily to improve exercise performance. 500 mg of L-carnitine has been taken three times a day with meals for eight weeks to increase walking distance in people with intermittent claudication.
How does it work?
Energy production involves the amino acid L-carnitine.Fatty acids are transported into the mitochondria, the cell's power plants, by this process.The fatty acids are converted into energy once they are inside the mitochondria.L-carnitine aids in the mitochondria's detoxification of waste products.
Are there safety concerns?
When taken properly by mouth, L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people.L-carnitine has a number of undesirable side effects, including a "fishy" body odor, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, and heartburn.Low blood pressure, weakened muscles, and seizures are additional effects.Warnings & Special Precautions:L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE when taken orally during pregnancy and while nursing a baby.Women who are expecting should not drive a L-car.
L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth properly during childbirth.
L-carnitine may increase the body's production of ammonia in kidney disease. Supplemental L-carnitine should be avoided by those who have kidney disease.
L-carnitine may increase the body's production of ammonia in cases of liver disease. L-carnitine supplements should be avoided by those who have liver disease.
Seizures: L-carnitine may make seizures more likely. Before taking L-carnitine supplements, consult your healthcare provider if you have a seizure disorder.
L-carnitine may impact blood sugar levels during surgery. You might have to temporarily stop using L-carnitine if you have surgery.
There is no known antidote for L-carnitine overdose. Treatment is supportive and symptomatic. Intravenous fluids might be necessary to maintain hydration. Dialysis does not seem to enhance L-carnitine clearance from the blood.