Carnitine, also known as L-Carnitine, is a substance made naturally by the body that helps to turn body fat into energy. The main role of L-Carnitine in the body is to control the burning of fat.
L-Carnitine transports fat to the mitochondria, and is made inside our kidneys and liver. External sources of L-Carnitine include red meats, dairy products, avocados and peanut butter.
L-Carnitine and weight loss
Recently, L-Carnitine has come a lot in public interest because of its role in weight loss.
Above, we read that L-Carnitine transports fat to the mitochondria. Unless that happens, the fat cannot be oxidized. If the oxidation of fat is not proper, there will not be proper conversion of fat into energy, and hence, even if we increase exercise or change the diet, we cannot lose weight.
L-Carnitine in the body
The body makes small amount of L-Carnitine. For this, we require vitamins like niacin, B6, and vitamin C, and amino acids like methionine and lysine. If these nutrients are short in our body, carnitine levels can be lowered (and reduce the fat burning). Lysine may increase the carnitine levels. Vegans or vegetarians get very little carnitine in their diet.
Sources of L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine is found mostly in meat products, with red meat, chicken and turkey being the best source. Milk and dairy products, tempeh and avocados contain little amounts. Most grains, fruits and vegetables, do not contain L-Carnitine.
Burn fat with WITH L-Carnitine production
· L-Carnitine works well with a diet low in carbohydrates (starches and sugars).
· High insulin levels suppress L-Carnitine activity.
· Flaxseed and fish oils that contain Omega-III fatty acids improve L-Carnitine activity to cause weight loss.
· Good amount of protein is also required for fat burning due to L-Carnitine activity.
L-Carnitine and exercise
As L-Carnitine plays a major role in conversion of fat into energy. With proper levels of L-Carnitine in the body, aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (strength training) workouts give extremely good results for weight loss and strengthening the overall body.
Dosage and supplements
Take L-Carnitine supplements only after consultation with doctor. For normal people, typical dosages of L-Carnitine are 1000 mg per day to promote weight loss; obese people may take 2000 mg each day. It is best taken before breakfast and lunch.