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An Amino Acid that facilitates life extension. Protects against cardiovascular and liver disease. Assists with cholesterol, weight management and muscle growth. Helps to prevent Diabetes. Alleviates Obesity.
Carnitine is a Dipeptide (composed of Lysine and Methionine) - it is chemically similar to Choline. It is manufactured within the body in the Liver and Kidneys and is also a component of the diet.
Health Benefits of Carnitine
Aging & Life Extension
Carnitine supplementation may facilitate Life Extension:
* Carnitine levels in the Brain, Blood, Heart and Muscles decrease in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process, while Carnitine levels in the Liver increase in tandem with the Aging Process, indicating that the transportation of Carnitine from the Liver to the Blood declines in tandem with the Aging Process.
* Carnitine may retard the progression of the Aging Process (by preventing the death of Cells via the maintenance of Energy supply to individual Cells).
Carnitine may alleviate some cases of Anemia (especially forms of Anemia that occur in persons undergoing dialysis treatment).
Cardic Muscle contains high amounts of Carnitine.
Cardiovascular Disease patients often exhibit Carnitine deficiency:
* Angina may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency. Carnitine (900 - 2,000 mg per day) may reduce the Pain and other symptoms of Angina. Angina patients may become more active with Carnitine supplementation. Carnitine may help to prevent Atherosclerosis (by lowering elevated Lipoprotein (a) levels).
Cardiomyopathy patients are often deficient in Carnitine. Supplemental Carnitine (2 grams per day) may improve the condition of Congestive Heart Failure patients - Carnitine may lower Heartbeat rate, may reduce fluid accumulation and may improve breathing ability in CHF patients without side-effects. Heart disease patients may be able to engage in Exercise for longer periods when they are supplemented with Carnitine.Carnitine is stored primarily in the Heart where it facilitates cardiac contractions (i.e. contractions of the Heart).
Carnitine (2,000 mg per day) may improve the condition of people who have previously experienced a Heart Attack.
Carnitine (2,000 - 4,000 mg per day) may increase walking distance in Intermittent Claudication patients.
Supplemental Carnitine is often recommended for Ischemic Heart Disease patients.
Carnitine (3,000 mg per day for at least four months) may improve the condition of Mitral Valve Prolapse patients.
Carnitine may stabilize the fluidity of the Cell Membranes of Red Blood Cells.
Carnitine resides in the Cytoplasm of Cells where it combines with molecules of Acetyl Coenzyme A and molecules of Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids to form a complex that can penetrate the wall of the Mitochondria - it thereby facilitates the transportation of Fatty Acids across Cell Membranes into the Mitochondria.
Carnitine (2,500 – 3,500 mg per day) may reduce the number of Vomiting episodes in Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome patients.
People infected with the HIV virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) often exhibit Carnitine deficiency (and up to 6 grams of supplemental Carnitine per day is recommended for persons infected with HIV).
Supplemental Carnitine may counteract the toxic side effects of Zidovudine (AZT) therapy in AIDS patients.
Carnitine may enhance the function of Neutrophils.
Carnitine functions as a secondary Antioxidant:
Carnitine may reduce the production of Peroxynitrite Free Radicals in the Brain.
Carnitine (1,000 - 4,000 mg per day) may improve Athletic Performance (by increasing the body's production of Energy and increasing V02max):
Carnitine may enhance Athletic Performance in persons who engage in Aerobic Exercise.
Carnitine may lower elevated Blood Sugar levels.
Carnitine may lower total serum Cholesterol levels:
Carnitine deficiency may cause raised LDL Cholesterol levels.
Carnitine may increase HDL Cholesterol levels.
Carnitine (1,000 - 3,000 mg per day) may be of benefit to persons afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (due to the fact that most CFS patients exhibit significantly lower levels of serum Carnitine).
Carnitine may help to prevent Diabetes Mellitus, may lower elevated Triglycerides and Cholesterol levels in Diabetes Mellitus patients, may lower elevated Blood Sugar levels in Diabetes Mellitus patients and may reduce the Pain associated with (diabetic) Neuropathy in Diabetes Mellitus patients.
Carnitine may increase the body's production of Energy:
Carnitine may facilitate the transport of Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids into the Mitochondria and may stimulate the oxidation of Fatty Acids to produce Energy.
A molecule of Carnitine in the Cytoplasm outside the Mitochondria combines with a molecule of Fatty Acid and a molecule of Acetyl Coenzyme A to make a complex that can penetrate the wall of the Mitochondria. Inside the Mitochondria the complex liberates the Carnitine which can move outside to repeat its action of serving as a shuttle to carry more molecules into the Mitochondria.
Carnitine (2,000 - 6,000 mg per day) may improve Cardiovascular Function in people who engage in Exercise, may reduce the accumulation of Lactic Acid during Exercise, may prevent Muscle Pain in people who Exercise, may preserve Muscle Glycogen during Exercise, may increase Muscle Carnitine levels during Exercise, may prevent Exercise-induced declines in Muscle Carnitine levels and may increase the rate of recovery following Exercise: · Carnitine may enhance Athletic Performance in persons who engage in Aerobic Exercise.
* Carnitine may reduce Isotonic Exercise-induced Muscle tissue damage.
* Carnitine (2,000 mg per day) may increase Exercise capability in Emphysema patients.
Fatigue may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency:
Carnitine (2,000 mg per day) may inhibit the ability of exogenous, pharmaceutical Interferon Alpha to cause Fatigue.
Carnitine may prevent and reverse Hyperthyroidism.
Carnitine may decrease Insulin Resistance.
Carnitine may increase the rate that Fatty Acids are utilized and metabolized by the Liver (thereby helping to prevent excessive build-up of Fats within the Liver):
* Carnitine may help to prevent and alleviate Fatty Liver - much evidence points to Carnitine deficiency within the Liver as being an underlying cause of Fatty Liver:
* Carnitine may reduce the risk of Alcohol-induced Fatty Liver.
* People affected by Liver failure may be particularly at risk of Carnitine deficiency.
* Carnitine may help to protect the Liver from the toxic effects of Carbon Tetrachloride.
Carnitine (1,000 - 2,000 mg per day) may alleviate Obesity:
* Carnitine may permit the body to utilize its' Adipose Tissues for Energy production.
* Carnitine transfers Fatty Acids across the Cell Membranes of the Mitochondria where they can be used as a source of Energy.
Carnitine (1,500 mg per day) may increase Stamina (by increasing aerobic endurance and energy production).
Elevated serum Triglycerides levels may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency and supplemental Carnitine reduces serum Triglycerides levels.
Many Muscle Ailments (myopathies) may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency.
Muscle Cramps may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency.
Carnitine may facilitate Muscle Growth (according to many anecdotal reports from body-builders).
Muscles require Carnitine to release energy from fats and Carnitine concentrates in the (skeletal) Muscles.
Carnitine (3,000 mg per day) may help to prevent Muscle Pain in people who Exercise.
Carnitine may increase Muscle Strength.
Muscle Weakness may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency and Carnitine deficiency may be the underlying cause of the Muscle Weakness experienced by Muscular Dystrophy patients.
Carnitine may be a beneficial supplement for Muscular Dystrophy patients as Muscular Dystrophy patients have accelerated clearance of Carnitine from their Urine:
Muscular Dystrophy patients have lowered levels of Carnitine in their Skeletal Muscles.
Carnitine (4,000 mg per day) may result in significant improvement in some cases of Rhabdomyolysis.
Carnitine concentrates in Skeletal Muscle.
Carnitine concentrates in the Brain.
Carnitine may facilitate recovery from Coma (when Coma is caused by excessive accumulation of Ammonia).
Severe Confusion may occur as a result of Carnitine deficiency.
Carnitine may prevent Ammonia-induced degeneration of Neurons.
Carnitine may be useful for the treatment of Asthma.
Carnitine (2,000 mg per day) may increase Exercise capability in Emphysema patients.
Carnitine may alleviate Male Infertility:
Carnitine (400 mg - 3,000 mg per day) concentrates in Sperm and provides energy to the Sperm. It may also improve Sperm motility.
Carnitine may facilitate the healing of Burns.
Carnitine may Enhance the Function of these Substances
Carnitine is a component of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) - 7.5% to 10.2% of the body’s total Carnitine content is present in the form of ALC.
Carnitine may help to preserve Muscle Glycogen levels during Exercise.
Supplemental Carnitine increases the activity of Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase.
Carnitine increases the activity of the Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex (especially in athletes).
Carnitine facilitates the metabolism of Fatty Acids:
* Carnitine facilitates the transport of Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids into the Mitochondria for Energy production (oxidation).
Carnitine may increase Brain levels of Dopamine in elderly persons.
Carnitine may increase Brain levels of Serotonin in elderly persons.
Carnitine increases the generation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) via its role in the beta-oxidation of Fatty Acids and via its role in the removal of Acetyl units in the Mitochondria.
Carnitine may enhance the function of Coenzyme Q10.
Carnitine may enhance the function of Vitamin C.
Carnitine may enhance the function of Vitamin E.
Carnitine may Counteract these Potentially Toxic Substances
Amino Acid Metabolites
Carnitine may inhibit the damage caused to Neurons by Ammonia and detoxifies Ammonia by facilitating its conversion to Urea.
Carnitine may counteract the toxic effects of excessive Glutamic Acid.
Carnitine may help to protect the Liver from the toxic effects of Carbon Tetrachloride.
Carnitine may lower elevated Lipoprotein (a) levels.
Carnitine may help to chelate excessive Iron from the body.
Carnitine may help to reduce post-Exercise levels of Lactic Acid.
Carnitine may help to prevent the toxic side effects of Doxorubicin.
Carnitine may inhibit the ability of Gentamicin to damage the Kidneys.
Carnitine (2,000 mg per day) may inhibit the ability of exogenous, pharmaceutical Interferon Alpha to cause Fatigue.
Carnitine may counteract the toxic side effects of Zidovudine (AZT) therapy in AIDS patients.
Carnitine may help to prevent Alcohol (ethanol)-induced Fatty Liver.
Carnitine may inhibit the ability of Methamphetamine to damage the Brain (by inhibiting Methamphetamine-induced production of Peroxynitrite Free Radicals).
These Substances may Enhance the Function of Carnitine
Carnitine can be synthesized within the body from its primary constituent - Lysine.
Methionine is a component of the Carnitine molecule.
Threonine is a precursor for the production of Carnitine within the body.
Tryptophan is a precursor for the production of Carnitine within the body.
Carnitine Acetyltransferase catalyzes the conversion (acylation) of Carnitine to Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC).
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may facilitate the transport of Carnitine into the Mitochondria.
Iron is essential for the endogenous conversion of Lysine and Methionine to Carnitine.
Choline inhibits the body’s (urinary) excretion of Carnitine.
Vitamin B1 may enhance the function of Carnitine.
Vitamin B3 may enhance the function of Carnitine.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the conversion of Lysine to Carnitine.
Vitamin C is essential for the hydroxylation process that catalyzes the conversion of Lysine to Carnitine.
Dietary Sources of Carnitine
Vegetarians are sometimes deficient in Carnitine (as Carnitine is present in only very few Vegetables).
Meats: Red Meat Poultry
Seafoods: Most Seafoods contain Carnitine.
These Substances may Interfere with Carnitine
Many Anti-Cancer Pharmaceuticals destroy endogenous Carnitine.
Dilantin may lower serum Carnitine levels.
Other Factors that may Interfere with Carnitine
The body’s endogenous production of Carnitine declines in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process.
Intense Exercise or Endurance Exercise may deplete Muscle Carnitine levels.
Persons afflicted with Kidney ailments should not use Carnitine supplements.
Persons afflicted with Liver ailments should not use Carnitine supplements.
80% of the Carnitine within the body of healthy humans is synthesized from Lysine in the Muscles and Kidneys.
20% of the body's Carnitine is derived directly from the diet.
The biological half-life of Carnitine varies from three to seventeen hours.
Blood Carnitine levels peak 30 minutes to 3½ hours after the oral ingestion of supplemental Carnitine.
Some people are affected by a gene mutation that causes loss of the ability to convert Lysine into Carnitine.
The systemic bioavailability of orally-administered supplemental Carnitine is 5% to 25%.
Approximately 63% to 75% of dietary Carnitine (excluding supplemental Carnitine) is absorbed.
Approximately 97% of the body’s total Carnitine reserves are stored in Skeletal Muscle.
Carnitine is eliminated from the body primarily via the Kidneys.
Forms of Carnitine
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is the acetylated form of Carnitine that is regarded by some (but not all) experts as particularly beneficial for Brain and Mental Function enhancement.
Carnitine Tartrate consists of 67% L-Carnitine bound to 33% Tartaric Acid (Tartrate). It is claimed to be one of the better forms of Carnitine supplementation in terms of stability and bioavailability.
L-Carnitine is the main form of Carnitine synthesized within the human body. It is 100% pure Carnitine and is a common form of Carnitine supplementation.
Carnitine vs. Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC)
ALC is generally claimed to be superior in terms of its therapeutic effects compared to its unacetylated sister compound, L-Carnitine:
Some scientists have recently claimed that there may perhaps be no advantage to taking the (more expensive) ALC form of Carnitine over the more economical unacetylated form of Carnitine (L-Carnitine).
The miminum essential dietary intake of Carnitine for the prevention of several disorders associated with Carnitine deficiency is 500 mg per day and 1,000 mg per day is often recommended for the prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases.
The usual therapeutic dosage of supplemental Carnitine is 1,000 - 2,000 mg per day (taken as two equally divided doses).
The therapeutic dosage of Carnitine that has been demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials for the treatment of Obesity is 1,000 - 2,000 mg per day.
The therapeutic dosage of Carnitine that has been demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials for the treatment of Male Infertility is 3,000 mg per day.
People who engage in strenuous Exercise should take two doses of 500 - 2,000 mg of Carnitine per day (a total of 1,000 - 4,00 mg of Carnitine per day).
People infected with the HIV virus should use 6,000 mg of Carnitine per day (taken as two or three divided doses of 3,000 mg or 2,000 mg each).
The highest therapeutic dosage of supplemental Carnitine is 20,000 mg per day.
Some ers claim that ingestion of more than 2,000 mg of Carnitine at any one time is futile as higher amounts saturate the Intestinal Wall.
Ideally, the total daily dosage of Carnitine should be taken as three equally divided doses throughout the day.