L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has gained popularity as a weight loss supplement. It is believed to promote weight loss by increasing the body’s ability to burn fat, particularly during exercise.
Some studies have shown that L-carnitine may be effective at reducing body weight and body fat, especially when combined with a healthy diet and regular physical activity. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of L-carnitine supplementation for weight loss.
Before beginning any new weight loss supplement regimen, it is essential to speak with a healthcare professional. Consult Dr. David Nazarian for the most effective weight loss approach that fits you.
What Is L Carnitine?
L-carnitine is a substance produced naturally in the body and plays a role in the metabolism of fats. It produces energy by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of cells, where they are burned for energy. L-carnitine is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue and is also present in some foods, such as red meat and dairy products.
Supplemental L-carnitine is often used as a dietary supplement, particularly by athletes and bodybuilders, who claim it can improve exercise performance and help with weight loss.
L Carnitine Weight Loss: Myth or Make Sense?
The evidence for the effectiveness of L-carnitine for weight loss is mixed. Some studies have found that L-carnitine supplementation may help with weight loss, while others have not. Obese people or the elderly may benefit from it, but only in conjunction with a strict diet and regular exercise.
One meat analysis involving obese persons or older adults indicated that those taking L-carnitine shed an extra 2.67 pounds (1.21 kg). However, no significant effect was seen for waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage. After eight weeks of exercise, women who took L-carnitine lost no more weight than women who did not.
Another human investigation also examined the impact of L-carnitine on fat burning during a 90-minute stationary bike ride. The supplementation for four weeks did not improve fat burning.
How much carnitine should I take to lose weight?
There is no established recommended daily allowance (RDA) for L-carnitine, as it is not considered an essential nutrient. The World Health Organization has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for L-carnitine of up to 3 mg/kg body weight per day for adults. In terms of using L-carnitine for weight loss, there is no specific dosage that has been proven to be effective.
People often take 500 mg to 2,000 milligrams of L-carnitine daily as a supplement. The optimal dose for long-term efficacy with minimal health hazards is two grams (2,000 milligrams).
L Carnitine Weight Loss Side Effects
L-carnitine is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. However, as with any dietary supplement, there are potential side effects. Some common side effects of L-carnitine supplements include
- Nausea: Some people may experience nausea when taking L-carnitine supplements.
- Stomach upset: L-carnitine supplements may cause stomach upset, including stomach cramps, bloating, and diarrhea.
- Fishy body odor: Some people may notice a fishy body odor when taking L-carnitine supplements. This is due to the metabolism of L-carnitine in the body, which can produce a compound called trimethylamine.
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to L-carnitine supplements, which may cause symptoms such as rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Types of L Carnitine
Several forms of L-carnitine are used as dietary supplements. These forms include
L-carnitine: This is the most common form of L-carnitine used in supplements. It is found naturally in the body and some foods.
Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC): This form of L-carnitine is similar to L-carnitine but has an acetyl group attached to it. Some claim that ALC is more easily absorbed by the body and may affect the brain and nervous system differently.
Propionyl-L-carnitine (PLC): This form of L-carnitine is similar to L-carnitine but has a propionyl group attached to it. Some claim that PLC may be more effective at improving exercise performance and increasing blood flow to the heart.
L-carnitine L-tartrate: This form of L-carnitine is combined with tartaric acid, which is thought to increase the absorption of L-carnitine in the body. Some people claim that L-carnitine L-tartrate may be more effective at improving exercise performance and reducing muscle soreness.
Benefits of L Carnitine
Some potential benefits of L-carnitine supplements include:
Improve heart function in people with heart disease
Some studies have suggested that L-carnitine may improve heart function in people with heart disease, such as heart failure or angina.
Improve exercise performance
Some studies have suggested that L-carnitine supplements may improve exercise performance, including increasing endurance and reducing muscle fatigue. However, the evidence for these effects is mixed, and more research is needed to determine the potential benefits of L-carnitine supplementation on physical performance.
Reduce muscle soreness
Some studies have suggested that L-carnitine supplements may reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Help to lose weight
Some studies have suggested that L-carnitine supplements may help with weight loss, although the evidence for this effect is mixed. It’s important to note that L-carnitine is not a magic pill for weight loss and should not replace a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Other potential benefits
L-carnitine may have other potential health benefits, such as reducing oxidative stress and improving insulin sensitivity.
Differences Between L-Carnitine And Creatine
There are considerable differences between L-Carnitine and Creatine, making them unique in function and effects.
Some studies have suggested that L-carnitine may benefit heart health and exercise performance. In contrast, creatine may increase muscle mass, strength, and power and improve exercise performance.
|A substance produced in the body and found in some foods that play a role in the metabolism of fats
|A substance produced in the body and found in some foods that play a role in energy production
|Red meat, dairy products
|Meat, fish, eggs
|Function in the body
|Transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy production
|Help produce ATP, the main source of energy for cells
|May improve heart function in people with heart disease, may improve exercise performance and reduce muscle soreness
|May increase muscle mass, strength, and power, may improve exercise performance
|Potential side effects
|Nausea, stomach upset, fishy body odor, allergic reactions
|Weight gain, stomach upset, diarrhea, muscle cramps
|Not established, the World Health Organization has set an acceptable daily intake of up to 3 mg/kg body weight per day for adults
|3-5 grams per day, may vary depending on the specific product and individual needs
It is important to remember that no supplement can replace a healthy diet and regular physical activity as the most effective means of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Suppose you are considering using L-carnitine for weight loss. In that case, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine if it is right for you and to understand the potential risks and benefits.