Wellness Wednesday on Empty Streets: L-Carnitine

Posted 5:34 AM by Unknown in Labels: , ,
I have started to go on a strict diet just recently and was curious about a supplement that has claimed to be a fat burning enhancer - L-Carnitine. So I got really curious about it and so I decided to research more into this Chemical Fat burner.

Role of L-Carnitine in fatty acid metabolism

Carnitine transports long-chain acyl groups from fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, so that they can be broken down through β-oxidation to acetate to obtain usable energy via the citric acid cycle. In some organisms such as fungi, the acetate is used in the glyoxylate cycle for gluconeogenesis and formation of carbohydrates. Fatty acids must be activated before binding to the carnitine molecule to form acyl-carnitine. The free fatty acid in the cytosol is attached with a thioester bond to coenzyme A (CoA). This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme fatty acyl-CoA synthetase and driven to completion by inorganic pyrophosphatase.

The acyl group on CoA can now be transferred to carnitine and the resulting acyl-carnitine transported into the mitochondrial matrix. This occurs via a series of similar steps:

1. Acyl-CoA is conjugated to carnitine by carnitine acyltransferase I (palmitoyltransferase) located on the outer mitochondrial membrane
2. Acyl-carnitine is shuttled inside by a carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase
3. Acyl-carnitine is converted to acyl-CoA by carnitine acyltransferase II (palmitoyltransferase) located on the inner mitochondrial membrane. The liberated carnitine returns to the cytosol.

Human genetic disorders such as primary carnitine deficiency, carnitine palmitoyltransferase I deficiency, carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency and carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase deficiency affect different steps of this process.

Carnitine acyltransferase I undergoes allosteric inhibition as a result of malonyl-CoA, an intermediate in fatty acid biosynthesis, in order to prevent futile cycling between β-oxidation and fatty acid synthesis.

In Layman Terms:

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 diet.

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.


* 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.

**Nature's Gold Level I & II - contains 7 essential amino acids* critical to providing cellular regeneration and repair.


* 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.


* L-Carnitine works best with a diet low in sugars and starches (carbohydrates).
* 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 burning.

** Benefit from Flax Seed Oil . Not only does it improve carnitine activity in the body, but studies have shown that it can substantially lower the risk of death from coronary heart disease. Flax seed oil contains twice the amount of Omega-3 oils than that of fish oil products. NSP's Flax Seed Oil is 100% organic and unrefined; due to the cold pressing of the seeds.
Reap the benefits of **Super Oil capsules that combines oil from three different sources.
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* 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 burn 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 stream.
* Effective carnitine activity helps to discourage fatty build up 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 carbohydrates.


* First, you need to start taking at least 1000 mg per day of L-Carnitine to promote weight loss. Obese individuals may start with 2000 mg per day.
* Those with metabolic resistance, start to do well on 3000-5000 mg per day.
* 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 you 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.

And for those that prefer to watch as someone explains it more here is a video that will just do that for you :)

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3 comment(s) to... “Wellness Wednesday on Empty Streets: L-Carnitine”


shashank said...

Here is a link to more information about the genetics of Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase II Deficiency that was prepared by our genetic counselor and which has links to some useful resources for those dealing with this condition: http://www.accessdna.com/condition/Carnitine_Palmitoyltransferase_II_Deficiency/77. There is also a phone number listed if you need to speak to a genetic counselor by phone. I hope it helps. Thanks, AccessDNA

Empty Streets said...

Hi Shashank :) I really appreciate the link it is really helpful :)

Carnitin said...

Study shows that L-Carnitine is use for weight loss. L-Carnitine increases the use of fat as energy source and protect against the muscle and liver disease. It is the main ingredient in some diet pills and other supplements. These products are available online.

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