L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that plays a critical role in energy metabolism by helping the body convert fatty acids into energy. It is produced by the liver and kidneys and stored in the muscles, brain, and other tissues.
L-carnitine is not an essential nutrient, as the body can synthesize it from the amino acids lysine and methionine, but it is considered conditionally essential in some situations, such as kidney dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, and genetic disorders.
L-carnitine supplementation may be recommended in certain situations, such as for people at risk of a carnitine deficiency or certain health conditions affecting the kidneys, heart, or liver.
Other conditions that may benefit from supplementation of L-carnitine include anorexia, chronic fatigue, coronary vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and male infertility.
L-carnitine is also often supplemented among athletes or individuals looking to improve exercise performance or weight loss. L-carnitine may be taken before or during exercise to enhance fat burning and reduce fatigue.
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Some of the potential effects of L-carnitine include:
- Improves exercise recovery
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Decreases fatigue during exercise.
- Improves heart health while reducing the risk of heart failure.
- Promotes fat burning
- Reduces blood sugar levels and health risks associated with type 2 diabetes.