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Carnitine or L-Carnitine <br> Types, Sources, Benefits, Side Effects, Supplements & Dosage

Carnitine or L-Carnitine
Types, Sources, Benefits, Side Effects, Supplements & Dosage

What is L-carnitine?

L-carnitine is known as an amino acid, which is a building block of protein in nature. It is derived from two essential amino acids, methionine and lysine. L-carnitine is produced in our body naturally but can be taken from outside food sources such as meat products or fish in your diet, which makes it a conditionally essential amino acid. It is also present in supplement form. Vegan people or people with certain hereditary issues can take carnitine supplements to acquire enough carnitine in their bodies.

L-carnitine has a vital role in the improvement of one’s heart health. It improves the functioning of the brain and assists the body in muscle movements. Intake of l-carnitine may improve the metabolic parameters of our body, which further reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications.

It helps in the gain of strength and lean muscle mass as it reduces fatigue. Using carnitine has been shown to increase muscle function in adults. Another role of carnitine is that it suppresses appetite, so a person will stop time-wasting munching and will maintain his goals.

    Types of L-carnitine

    Carnitine has many types, which are discussed as follows:.

    Acetyl L-Carnitine

    This type of carnitine is used to help the nervous system because it has neuroprotective effects. It is used for Alzheimer's disease, improving thinking skills, and improving memory. It helps with the tingling feeling, lowers pain in the nerves, and reduces cholesterol levels in diabetic patients. Some studies show that it improves the metabolic rate as well.


    This type helps in the maintenance of cardiac health. Because it has the properties of relieving pain and having antirheumatic effects. It helps in bettering the circulation in the body because it causes a boost in nitric acid production, which promotes blood flow, and it aids the body in producing energy and stimulating ischemic muscles.


    It is a toxic compound for the body as it inhibits the absorption of other chemicals. It is known as an isomer of l-carnitine, and it is an inactive form.

    L carnitine L Tartrate

    This type has a good and rapid rate of absorption and it is mostly added to sports supplements because of its beneficial properties, which help in reducing muscle soreness and aids in fastening the recovery in workouts. It stimulates the oxidation of fatty acids and lowers the formation of free radicals in the body.

      Sources of L-carnitine

      Food Sources To Obtain Carnitine

      A small amount of carnitine can be obtained from various food sources. Following is the list:

      • Beef is a good source of carnitine, naturally. It can provide 81 mg of carnitine per 3 ounces.
      • Fish is a beneficial source of carnitine. It can contribute up to 5 mg of carnitine per 3 ounces.
      • Chicken also provides carnitine for our bodies. It has 3 mg of carnitine per 3 ounces, or 85 grams of chicken.
      • Milk: It provides 8 mg of carnitine per 8 ounces or 227 ml.

      L-carnitine supplements

      L-carnitine, propionyl-L-carnitine, and acetyl-L-carnitine dietary supplements are available worldwide in the form of pills, capsules and powder.

      There is a widespread interest in l-carnitine supplements among athletes for the improvement of their athletic performances and energy levels. L-carnitine supplementation expands the muscle content and optimizes the oxidation of fat. Also, it lowers fat storage availability in the body.

      How Carnitine Helps in Weight Loss

      The simple mechanism of L-carnitine is that it carries long chains of fatty acids inside the mitochondria of the cell, so these chains can be oxidized there and further converted into energy.

      Benefits of L-Carnitine

      Intake of carnitine can provide various benefits to the body.  Let's take a look at some of the benefits that l-carnitine can have on your goals and your health.

      It Improves Brain Health

      It has been shown that the intake of carnitine supplementation may prevent mental decline and stress-related damage by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. In addition, it helps with brain diseases, specifically Alzheimer’s disease, as it improves memory and slows the rate of disease.

      It Betters our Cardiac Health

      Carnitine has the potential to lower cardiovascular disorders as its intake can improve blood pressure, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and decrease heart muscle damage. Furthermore, it triggers cardio-protective effects, which will reduce the risk of ischemia and prevent complications following a cardiac arrest. In addition, the intake of carnitine can also diminish angina symptoms. Angina is a type of chest pain that is caused by the reduced flow of blood to the heart.

      Exercise Performance

      An improvement in exercise performance is seen by the intake of carnitine. It aids in tissue recovery, supplies oxygen in muscles and tissues, reduces muscle soreness, increases stamina because of vasodilation of nerves, and improves muscle physiology. 

      Consumption of l-carnitine increases athletic performance during workouts.

      Helps With Diabetes Symptoms

      The use of carnitine and acetylcarnitine can be beneficial for diabetes types 1 and 2. It lowers the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in type 1 and reduces the levels of cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides that aid in diabetes type 2. 

      In insulin-resistant patients, l-carnitine enhances the sensitivity of insulin.

      Aids With Asthma

      In some studies, using l-carnitine supplements has shown control in asthma and improved the function of the lungs. As it reduces the inflammation in the lungs and improves the saturation of oxygen.

      Good For Liver Health

      As we know, l-carnitine transfers fatty acids in mitochondria for their oxidation; it will also take excess acetyl CoA away from the mitochondria, which will maintain the circulation and functions of the liver. Also, it helps in the metabolism of lipids, which will maintain the health of the liver.

      Prevention Of Renal Failure

      Kidneys in our body produce carnitine. If there is a kidney disease, then carnitine levels will be low in our body. Taking a good and proper supplementation of carnitine will make up for the deficiency of carnitine. Taking the supplements by consulting your doctor will prevent renal disorders or their failure.

      More Energy Levels

      Including carnitine in your diet will increase your energy levels. A person can do much better in his or her workout due to higher levels of energy. Usually, l-carnitine is a pre-workout supplement because it is taken before a workout.

      Act as a test booster.

      Consumption of carnitine can improve testosterone production in men. It will help in energy generation, improve the flow of blood, and improve sperm motility in males.

      Side Effects of L-Carnitine

      Generally, intake of l-carnitine is safe and does not contain any side effects when taken as a dietary supplement. It provides some favorable benefits but along with these advantages, consumption of l-carnitine may cause a few side effects in some individuals. Side effects may vary from person to person.

      L-carnitine Carnitine effects that are common

      • Diarrhea
      • Cramps in the stomach
      • Vomiting or feeling of nausea
      • Headache
      • High blood pressure

      L-carnitine Carnitine effects that are less common

      • Impairment in vision
      • Body odor
      • Depression
      • Sensation of tingling
      • Dizziness
      • Weakness
      • Rapid heartbeat
      • Fever

      L-carnitine dosage

      Many people endure L-carnitine well. The suggested measurements are about 1-3 grams per day for 12 months. However, individuals with genetic conditions and irregularities causing an absence of L-carnitine should consult their doctors for a more precise dosage.

      Acetyl-L-Carnitine Dosage

      The recommended measurement for acetyl l-carnitine is 1.5–3 grams per day for 33 months. however, ask your health consultant to tell you about measurements according to your condition.

      Propionyl-L-Carnitine Dosage

      The suggested measurements for the intake of propionyl l-carnitine are recommended as 1.5–2 grams each day for up to 6 months.

      L-carnitine L-Tartrate Dosage

      Doses of l-carnitine l-tartrate may vary from 1000 mg to 4000 mg each day. But the best use will be prescribed by your physician.

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