We’ve all heard about fat burners and stimulants that can assist with thermogenics, but we’ve also heard of adverse health effects (with minimal results) that can be associated with some products. Allow me to introduce to you a very safe, natural alternative, weight-loss solution: L-carnitine.
L-carnitine or simply carnitine (the D-carnitine form isn’t biologically active, so it isn’t sold as a supplement) is a conditional amino acid (the body produces it, but not enough) that is synthesized in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It’s mostly stored in the brain, muscles, heart and sperm. No matter what your physique-enhancing and fitness goals are, losing fat or gaining muscle, your chances of achieving them will increase greatly if you have carnitine as one of your supplement sources. Studies focusing on the effectiveness of carnitine have been published for the last 80 years. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that carnitine can have on your overall health and fitness goals.
If you are looking to lose fat and improve your overall body composition, then this is the supplement to consider. Carnitine mobilizes long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into the mitochondria, where they may be oxidized to produce energy; also known as fuel. In addition, carnitine has also been shown to reduce fatigue (due to its restriction of lactic acid buildup) and serve as an appetite suppressant. It not only helps keep your body from storing fat, but it will increase your aerobic abilities and muscle strength, which will result in the burning of more calories.
On the medicinal side, carnitine has been proven safe and effective for people who are suffering from osteoporosis; general loss of bone density. Research has theorized that by taking carnitine, one can slow down their bone loss process and improve bone microstructural properties by decreasing bone degeneration.
If you have ongoing heart problems, carnitine has been primarily utilized to help prevent occurrences or recurrences of cardiovascular disease. Several clinical trials show that carnitine can be used along with conventional treatment for angina to decrease the use of medicine, and may improve the ability of those with angina to exercise without chest pain or discomfort. Studies have reported that taking carnitine after a heart attack decreases their chances of suffering another one later, as reported in Men’s Journal. Consult with your doctor first before consuming carnitine.
Carnitine has also been recommended for those with urinary or kidney problems, and for men that have been trying to have children but can’t due to low sperm counts. Carnitine has been shown to help improve both the sperm count, quality of sperm and erectile dysfunction (ED) due to its nitric oxide properties. Furthermore, carnitine increases testosterone receptors (androgen receptors), thus increasing the absorption rate of testosterone throughout the body to assist with the building of lean muscle mass.
If you are diabetic, it’s recommended that taking carnitine helps by enhancing glucose oxidation, glucose storage as well as glucose uptake into the muscles. Carnitine is effective for cognition or mental function that deteriorates in the elderly or in people who have certain medical conditions.
If you want the top shelf version of carnitine, try the Acetyl-L Carnitine or ALCAR, one of the more popular supplements for building muscle and burning fat. In addition to the aforementioned, it improves mental energy, increases mental focus, results in a faster response time and it’s a powerful antioxidant. It can be found throughout the central nervous system, where it plays a role in producing energy, as well as producing the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It’s recommended that one takes between 2 and 4 grams daily for general health. It’s available in most meats and dairy products, soybeans and avocados, however one would have to consume thousands of additional food calories to achieve the benefits that a 500-milligram capsule of carnitine could provide. Consider taking this supplement with a meal that contains at least 30-40 grams of carbs and 20-40 grams of protein, as carnitine works best when carbs are present.
If you want to try the super fat loss amino combo, consider taking carnitine with taurine. The Japanese consider taurine to be their eternal Fountain of Youth; it also helps to mobilize fat and facilitate its use throughout the body as energy. This process is expedited with the use of carnitine. I take two taurine and two carnitine capsules in the morning and evening, just before I eat.