L-Carnitine and Weight Loss
The primary function of carnitine in the body is to regulate fat oxidation
(burning). L-Carnitine is responsible for transporting fat to the fat
furnace in our cells called mitochondria. Unless fat makes it to the
mitochondria it cannot be oxidized, no matter how much you exercise or
Many studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of L-Carnitine
for fat burning. Evidence, more so than not, has suggested that when used
correctly, along with a balanced diet (adequate protein, essential fats,
and fiber, it works. L-Carnitine, however, is not the "silver bullet", it
is just another piece of the fat burning puzzle.
How your body makes L-Carnitine:
- The body can make small amounts of L-Carnitine
- To do so, you need the amino acids: lysine and methionine and vitamins
such as niacin, B6 and vitamin C. A shortage of any of these nutrients can
lower carnitine levels and reduce fat burning.
- Lysine has been shown to boost carnitine levels. Lysine is the amino acid
precursor that builds the carnitine molecule.
- Strict vegetarians get little or no carnitine.
Sources of L-Carnitine in our diets:
- L-Carnitine is found predominately in meat and animal products.
- Red meat is the best source.
- Chicken and turkey also contain carnitine.
- Dairy and milk products contain small amounts.
- Most fruits, vegetables, and grains contain almost no carnitine. The
exceptions are tempeh and avocados, which contain small amounts.
Factors that inhibit L-Carnitine production and fat burning:
- L-Carnitine works best with a diet low in sugars and starches
- Studies show that for carnitine to work effectively, carbohydrate intake
should be kept below 50% of total calories consumed daily.
- Elevated insulin levels inhibit optimal carnitine activity (the burning
of body fat and energy production).
- Omega 3 fats (flaxseed and fish oils) improve carnitine activity and
function in the body.
- Adequate protein at each meal is essential for carnitine activity and fat
L-Carnitine and Fat Burning:
- L-Carnitine assists in the transport of long-chained fatty acids that are
burned for energy.
- L-Carnitine enhances the consumption of fat as a source of fuel.
- L-Carnitine has been shown to increase the amount of fat you furn during
both anaerobic (strength training) and aerobic (cardiovascular) workouts.
- L-Carnitine plays an important role in mobilizing fatty deposits found in
tissues of overweight individuals.
- L-Carnitine helps remove fats waste products (ketones) from the blood
- Effective carnitine activity helps to discourage fatty buildup in the
liver, heart, and skeletal muscle.
- L-Carnitine has been shown to improve lean muscle strength. Maintaining
muscle tissue takes four to five times more calories than maintaining fat
tissue, which is important for permanent weight loss.
- L-Carnitine helps to stabilize blood sugar and eliminate cravings for
Supplementing L-Carnitine Correctly:
- First, you need to start taking at least 1000 mg per day of L-Carnitine
to promote weight loss. Obese individuals may start at 2000 mg per day.
- Those with metabolic resistance, start to do well on 3000-5000 mg per
- Research has shown that when you start to feel more energy, it is a sign
that the level of carnitine you are using is starting to burn body fat.
- Increase carnitine by 500 mg per day (one capsule) until you begin to
feel this increased energy level in your daily lifestyle.
- Your energy level will be your guide as to how effective carnitine is
working in your body.
- The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) lists no toxic effects from
prolonged use of L-Carnitine.
- It is best taken before breakfast and lunch.
See All LifeSource Vitamins Complete Line of L-Carnitine Products,
Articles, and Studies:
See All LifeSource Vitamins Diet & Weight Loss Products, Articles,
Turning up your metabolism with the right nutrients is essential for weight
loss. There is significant evidence that increased levels of carnitine in
tissue leads to increased fat burning. Obesity is not a drug deficiency.
Administering certain synthetic medications or nutrients can stimulate
thermogenic activity, but supplying your body with the essential nutrients
is all that it needs to activate correct fat metabolism, rather than a
caloric restriction or brain chemistry manipulation. Nutrients won't do
everything. You need a diet that is lower in carbohydrates, contains
adequate proteins, fats, plenty of fiber, and a routine physical exercise
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