Carnitine: Food Sources and 5 More Benefits

L- carnitine is an amino acid that can be made within the body and consumed in foods as well, making it a non-essential amino acid. It is known to be very effective at increasing exercise endurance. Another important function of carnitine is assisting in the metabolism of fats. L-carnitine can therefore increase the body’s supply of energy by using triglycerides for fuel.

L-carnitine can be taken in the form of a supplement, but is better used and absorbed by the body when it is ingested in foods. There are a variety food sources that contain high amounts of L-carnitine. Meats contain the largest amounts of L-carnitine. Beef and pork contain the most, while chicken, fish and dairy products have very small amounts.

In an earlier article I discussed three things that carnitine can do for you. Here are five more reasons that carnitine can be of benefit to you:

A form of carnitine called acetyl-l-carnitine will help with brain function and aid in increasing motivation, meaning it’s a great supplement for people who want to train hard. Anyone who trains hard knows that motivation is sometimes an issue, so carnitine can help with that very important aspect of a successful training regimen.

Acetyl-l-carnitine is also an antioxidant works to remove heavy metals from the brain. Taking it with Alpha Lipoic Acid as DHA from fish oils will help to support dopamine levels, and increase your attention span and motivation. For those who want to lose body fat, it works well for motivation and self-initiative. When taking acetyl-l-carnitine, you’ll see the benefits of improved energy, physical performance, work capacity, and faster recovery. These are necessary components to any fitness goal.

Carnitine is emerging as a supplement that can possibly prevent diabetes because of how it improves fat metabolism. It can counter the diseases of metabolic syndrome by preventing  atherosclerosis, and supporting cardiovascular health, while aiding in fat loss. There is still much more research that needs to be done, but there is hope.

Raising carnitine levels will fight related diabetes issues because it has antioxidant properties, meaning it helps to diminish free radical and reduces oxidative stress. The key to improving your insulin health and losing fat with carnitine is to understand that the supplementation protocol is a lifestyle habit. This is because  muscle carnitine levels aren’t elevated for close to six months. A high-protein diet and exercise will make it much that more effective s well.

Raising carnitine levels can lessen wasting syndrome that is associated with diseases including cancer. Carnitine supplementation is able to restore metabolic parameters in individuals with wasting disease, and by doing so helps to slow the progression of the disease.

Weight loss, muscle loss, cognitive decline, poor insulin health, inflammation, and poor organ function are all symptoms of wasting disease. Evidence shows that in patients with cancer related wasting disease, carnitine is depleted and the metabolism is impaired. A study in Nutrition Journal found that giving carnitine to men with pancreatic cancer who were suffering from wasting disease improved their lean mass, increased energy metabolism, and improved their quality of life.

Adequate carnitine levels has been shown to be necessary for male fertility. Males that have higher levels of carnitine have healthier sperm. Men who were classified as infertile have been shown to have lower carnitine levels. Having adequate carnitine in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, can go a long way to supporting male fertility.

Lastly, a topical carnitine cream can improve the health of your skin by decreasing the amount of oil released by the pores. A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that a carnitine cream increased the amount of fat that entered the cell, which decreased the oil secreted by the skin. By decreasing the oil secreted to the skin, fewer blemishes were apparent, and a more even complexion was the result.

Happy Lifting!

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