What is L-Carnitine (functions, sources, side effects)

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Carnitine is a naturally occurring vitamin-like element. A small amount of a substance is synthesized in the human body, namely in the kidneys and liver. The main function of the substance is to transport fatty acids. Also, carnitine is required for normal muscle tissue function and reduces the risk of developing heart muscle problems. For the synthesis of a substance, the participation of vitamin C and some vitamins of group B is required.
Carnitine was discovered in 1905, but they were able to synthesize it only after 45 years. Now it is used to eliminate the symptom of chronic fatigue, it also helps to cope with diseases of the heart and vascular system. The substance helps to reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol and prevents the appearance of plaques in the vessels.

The role of L-carnitine in the body

Recently, L-carnitine is most often associated with a fat burner, although this substance has much broader functions, namely:

  • increasing physical performance;
  • normalization of blood flow;
  • a decrease in the amount of lactic acid in the muscles;
  • increased mental alertness;
  • reduces the risk of loss of muscle mass during body drying.

But the most important thing is that the substance helps to endure increased physical activity and get rid of chronic fatigue.

This substance is often included in the complex treatment of certain diseases:

  • With cardiovascular. In this case, it helps stabilize blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
  • In AIDS, L-carnitine helps to strengthen the immune forces and eliminate the feeling of muscle weakness.

L-carnitine is recommended in the presence of kidney and liver pathologies, it helps to compensate for the loss of amino acids.

This substance is believed to help maintain reproductive function in men. Scientists have been able to establish a direct link between the normal level of carnitine in the body and good indicators of spermatogenesis.

For women, this substance is useful as a component for a cream. A number of studies have proved that carnitine reduces the secretion of sebum and at the same time increases the amount of fat that enters the cells, that is, the skin becomes hydrated, but not oily. Therefore, the cream for external use is recommended for use with problem skin.

An interesting fact is that it was also possible to establish that carnitine is an effective remedy for the development of diabetes. It is also an ideal remedy for pathogenic factors that are associated with sugar disease, namely fights free radicals in the body and prevents oxidative stress. However, for this, L-Carnitine is recommended to be used in combination with Omega-3. The ratio of drugs should be 1: 5.

Forms of L-Carnitine in Nature

A healthy human body contains from 20 to 25 g of L-carnitine, which is quite enough for full functioning. Most of the substance is found in skeletal muscle and heart. It is also found in all human tissues.

The main sources from which a person obtains carnitine include meat and milk. It is present in avocado, soybeans. By the way, the first part of the name of the substance “carne” means “meat” in Latin.

There are two forms of carnitine:

  • D, inactive form;
  • L, a biologically active form, composed of a number of related compounds, but essentially they act in the same way.

L-carnitine is most commonly found in the nervous system. It is responsible for the synthesis of acetylcholine and energy. It is this form that is found in food supplements.

How L-Carnitine Works

As mentioned earlier, the main function of L-carnitine is to transport fats to the mitochondria of cells. If this does not happen, then the body stops burning fat, which slags the body. When fat is not broken down, a person immediately feels muscle weakness, the liver can increase in size and other ailments can occur.

If the substance reaches the mitochondria of the cells, then there it is converted into a substance that promotes the production of adenosine triphosphate, which increases the body’s endurance.

Recent studies by scientists from Scotland have shown that L-carnitine has a positive effect on the effect of insulin on cells. In simple terms, it allows you to keep your blood glucose levels low, even if you have a lot of fast carbohydrates in your body.

Does L-Carnitine Work as a Fat Burner

In theory, L-carnitine should burn fat and reduce body weight. But despite the use of carnitine supplements specifically for fat burning, there is no scientific basis for this claim. Many scientists around the world have tried to prove this theory, but none have succeeded. Even huge dosages of this substance do not give such an effect.

Indeed, the substance increases endurance, which allows you to increase training time and, as a result, get rid of more calories and fat. It also promotes the fastest processing of existing fat into energy and prevents new fats from being deposited. Which gives the right to believe that carnitine indirectly affects the process of losing weight, but on condition that the supplement is taken immediately before training.

L-carnitine and muscle gain

The second long-standing misconception is that carnitine leads to muscle gain. The substance in this case works like an energetic. In simple terms, it helps to increase the efficiency of the training carried out and reduces the threshold of fatigue. Allows you to increase the number of approaches with a heavier weight. Another plus of the use of carnitine for gaining muscle mass is the prevention of the accumulation of lactic acid, a large amount of which is the cause of fatigue.

L-carnitine and physical performance

An interesting scientifically proven fact that taking carnitine increases performance by 25%. This is due not only to the ability of the substance to stimulate the process of converting fats into energy, but also to an increase in muscle blood flow. Due to the increased movement of blood in the muscles, hormones produced in the process are directed exactly where they are most needed. This increases the level of nitric oxide, which provides energy and allows you to recover faster after the toughest workouts.

Side effects of L-carnitine

This vitamin-like substance is considered almost completely safe. It has been clinically established that the additional receipt of carnitine in the form of supplements in the amount of 15 g per day does not pose any danger to the human body. It is extremely rare for people to have tachycardia, dyspenia and a slight increase in body temperature. Allergies were even less common. The biggest danger of L-carnitine is addiction. Alas, many people get so used to the fact that they have a lot of strength that they “get hooked” on supplements with this substance.

L-Carnitine is a real endurance enhancer. This vitamin-like substance is ideal for athletes, has practically no contraindications and is harmless to the body. It is recommended for use in a number of diseases and will help improve the condition of diabetes.

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