This dietary supplement, in addition to the fat-burning qualities that made it popular, has a number of other properties that are beneficial to the body.
What is l-carnitine?
L-carnitine (also known as levocarnitine, vitamin BT, or vitamin B11) is the amino acid most similar in structure to the B vitamins, and is widely used as a dietary supplement due to a number of useful properties. Having an effect on the body similar to vitamins in terms of its effect on the body, carnitine does not belong to them, since it is synthesized in the body, but, nevertheless, it is often called a vitamin-like substance.
Useful properties of l-carnitine
First of all, L-carnitine is widely known as a fat burning supplement. L-carnitine transports fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they are broken down with the release of energy. As a result, excess fat is burned and at the same time additional energy is generated that is necessary to maintain high vitality. But in addition to the presence in the body of the required amount of carnitine, to start this wonderful transformation, one more important condition must be observed — a competent diet and sufficient physical activity. An important advantage for athletes is the fact that the use of l-carnitine as a fat burning supplement does not lead to the destruction of proteins and carbohydrates.
But in addition to fighting excess weight, l-carnitine will be useful for:
- fatigue and lack of energy
- cardiovascular diseases (reduces the level of «bad» cholesterol, slows down the development of atherosclerosis and moderately lowers blood pressure, helps to reduce the manifestations of symptoms of heart failure)
- AIDS (azidothymidine (the main drug used for this disease) causes a carnitine deficiency, which leads to increased fatigue, weakened muscles and the immune system)
- diseases of the kidneys and liver (since it is these organs that synthesize carnitine in the body, then with their diseases there is a sharp decrease in its quantities and external compensation is necessary)
- in various infectious diseases with an increase in temperature (high temperature increases the heart rate, which leads to an increase in energy expenditure, and taking carnitine allows you to release this additional energy)
Separately, we note the benefits of l-carnitine in sports and other increased physical activity:
- increases energy production in the body, thereby reducing fatigue, improving performance and increasing physical endurance
- reduces pain in the muscles after training sessions, as it reduces the accumulation of lactic acid
- accelerates the recovery of the body after training, as well as overtraining
- breaks down adipose tissue, helping in the fight against excess weight
- enhances protein metabolism, which accelerates muscle growth processes
Need and norms of consumptionI l-carnitine
The recommended daily dose of l-carnitine is:
- for adults — up to 300 mg
- for children under 1 year — 10-15 mg
- for children from 1 to 3 years — 30-50 mg
- for children from 4 to 6 years old — 60-90 mg
- for children from 7 to 18 years old — 100-300 mg.
With increased mental, physical and emotional stress, many diseases, stress, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sports, the need for l-carnitine can increase several times. So:
- In the fight against excess weight or to increase immunity — 500-2000 mg.
- With AIDS, diseases of the cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys, acute infections — 500-1000 mg.
- With serious sports — 500-3000 mg.
- For workers of heavy physical labor — 500-2000 mg.
In the body, l-carnitine is synthesized with the participation of vitamins C and group B (especially B3, B6, B9, B12), iron, as well as the amino acids lysine and methionine, and a number of enzymes. Lack of at least one of these substances can provoke a deficiency of carnitine.
More often than others, a deficiency of this substance is found in vegetarians, athletes, with increased physical exertion and an unbalanced diet.
Symptoms of l-carnitine deficiency:
- fast fatiguability
- decreased immunity
- the appearance of excess weight
- heart diseases
Sources of l-carnitine
The main sources of l-carnitine include meat, fish and seafood, poultry, milk and dairy products (especially cheese and cottage cheese).
Synthesis in the body
L-carnitine is also synthesized in the body (in the liver, kidneys and brain).
Harm of l-carnitine
Very often the question arises not about the beneficial properties of carnitine, but about its harm to the body. But, despite the rumors, repeatedly conducted studies have shown the safety and good tolerance of l-carnitine by the body. So long-term intake of carnitine in large quantities (up to 15 g per day) over a long period of time did not reveal any negative effects.
Despite the undoubted benefits of many nutritional supplements, do not forget that they are only one of the auxiliary tools on the way to your health and beauty.
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