Whey Protein Inhibits Muscle Carnitine Accumulation

Carnitine is a chemical compound formed from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is critical for transporting fatty acids from the cell interior into the mitochondria. Carnitine helps break down long-chain fatty acids and promotes oxygen consumption. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells that provide the body’s energy needs, determine endurance exercise capacity and greatly influence life span. Carnitine is poorly absorbed into muscle cells. It is insulin-dependent. A study from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. found that muscle carnitine uptake was increased following consumption of a high-carbohydrate beverage, but decreased following ingestion of whey protein. Carnitine should not be taken at the same time as whey protein supplements. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 103: 276-282, 2016)

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