L-carnitine is a chemical similar to an amino acid that is produced in the body. L-carnitine helps the body turn fat into energy. The body can convert L-carnitine to other chemicals called acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine. But, no one knows whether the benefits of these other carnitines are the same. Until more is known, don't switch one form of carnitine for another.
Benefits of L-Carnitine Tablets
- Recovery: May improve exercise recovery.
- Muscle oxygen supply: May increase oxygen supply to your muscles.
- Stamina: May increase blood flow and nitric oxide production, helping delay discomfort and reduce fatigue
- Muscle soreness: May reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
- Red blood cell production: May increase the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body and muscles.
Different Types of L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is the standard biologically active form of carnitine, which is found in your body, foods, and most supplements. Here are several other types of carnitine:
- D-carnitine: This inactive form may cause a carnitine deficiency in your body by inhibiting the absorption of other, more useful forms
- Acetyl-L-carnitine: Often called ALCAR, this is possibly the most effective form for your brain. Studies suggest that it may benefit people with neurodegenerative diseases.
- Propionyl-L-carnitine: This form is well-suited for circulatory issues, such as peripheral vascular disease and high blood pressure. It may boost the production of nitric oxide, which improves blood flow.
- L-carnitine L-tartrate: This is commonly added to sports supplements due to its rapid absorption rate. It may aid muscle soreness and recovery in exercise.
L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE when taken for up to 12 months. It can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, and seizures. It can also cause the urine, breath, and sweat to have a "fishy" odor. Avoid using D-carnitine and DL-carnitine. These forms of carnitine might block the effects of L-carnitine and cause symptoms that resemble L-carnitine deficiency.
Does It Aid Weight Loss?
Using L-carnitine as a weight loss supplement makes sense.
Since L-carnitine helps move more fatty acids into your cells to be burned for energy, you might think this would increase your ability to burn fat and lose weight.
However, the human body is extremely complex, and the results of both human and animal studies are mixed.
More research is needed to confirm the benefits of L-carnitine in a younger, more active population.
While it may aid in weight loss for obese individuals or older adults, a thorough diet and exercise regimen must be in place first.
Although the recommended dose varies, around 500–2,000 mg (0.5–2 grams) seems to be both safe and effective.