The Power of Carnitine:
by Robert Crayhon, M.S. & Julie Kreloff, R.D.
What if there were one nutrient which could help you lose weight, increase energy,lower cholesterol, and promote heart health? Carnitine does all that and more. Carnitine offers all these benefits by promoting fat burning. Carnitine is the only nutrient that can transport fat to the part of the cell that burns it off: the mitochondria. If you can't get fat into the mitochondria, you can't burn it. So without carnitine, no fat burning can occur. Optimal carnitine levels, on the other hand, allow our body to burn fat at an optimal rate.
Carnitine is sometimes called an amino acid, but it is not. It is similar in structure to B vitamins, especially choline. However, carnitine is not a true vitamin because the body makes it in small amounts. Carnitine is also found in animal products, especially red meat. Unless you are eating pounds of red meat a day, however, you are probably not getting enough carnitine.
Signs of inadequate carnitine intake include:
Progressive Weight Gain
High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Weak Heart Function
Lack of Mental Focus
Poor Immune Function
Benefits of Carnitine:
|Increases fat burning
Increases energy levels
Lowers cholesterol & triglycerides
Promotes health health
Gives you more energy to exercise & increases endurance & performance
Reduces food cravings
Promotes healthy circulation
Promoted liver health
Carnitine: The Most Important Nutrient to Promote Weight Loss
Increasing carnitine intake is the most natural way to support weight loss, because carnitine picks up fat and puts it in the part of the cell that burns it off without any side effects. Scientific evidence shows that increased levels of carnitine lead to increased fat burning. Carnitine also helps increase metabolic rate while maintaining levels of muscle tissue. This is crucial, because muscle tissue is where you do most of your fat burning. Carnitine is also useful for eliminating cravings and increasing the amount of energy you have to exercise, both of which are very helpful for those who need to lose weight.
Promoting Heart Health
Carnitine is one of the most important nutrients for promoting heart health. The heart derives 70% of its energy from fat, and fat cant be burned without carnitine. Carnitine has also been found helpful in the treatment of mitral valve prolapse, angina, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure. Carnitine is also one of the most important nutrients for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
Because carnitine plays a critical role in fat burning, carnitine is a great aid in promoting sports endurance. Fat is the #1 fuel our body uses in endurance sports, and research shows carnitine enhances aerobic performance, allowing athletes to exercise longer without fatigue. Carnitine also increases the peak running speed in athletes by 6%.7 Chronic Fatigue Carnitine is an effective treatment for the fatigue seen in a number of chronic neurologic diseases. Chronic fatigue patients given 3,000 mg of carnitine saw statistically significant clinical improvement in 12 of the 18 studied parameters after 8 weeks of treatment. Increases in energy, well-being, and other parameters occurred more markedly the longer patients took the carnitine.
How to Take Carnitine
Start by taking two 500 mg capsules of carnitine before or with breakfast. After one week the dose can be increased if more energy or weight loss are desired to two 500 mg capsules before both breakfast and lunch. Carnitine can also be taken in powder form, starting with to a teaspoon before breakfast. Increase your dose of carnitine gradually until you see the results you desire. Taking carnitine after 4:00 p.m. may make it harder to fall asleep at night, so take all carnitine ideally before 4:00 p.m. This is the only side-effect of taking too much carnitine: too much energy! Heart patients and those with serious illness should take carnitine with the supervision from their physician, as carnitine can reduce the need for heart-supporting medications. When will I start feeling the benefits of carnitine? You should begin to feel an increase in energy within the first few days. Weight loss results are usually seen within the first week. For sports endurance, it may take a week or more to see the benefits. Cholesterol and triglyceride lowering effects can take a month or longer. How do I know whether to take carnitine or acetyl-L-carnitine? For weight loss, lowering cholesterol, increasing energy, and sports endurance, carnitine (also called L-Carnitine) is the preferred form. For maximizing brain health, acetyl-L-carnitine is the ideal form. For those over forty, taking both is optimal. When possible, use the form of carnitine known as L-Carnitine-Tartrate, which has the maximum purity and is completely free of the biologically inert D-carnitine.
Should carnitine be taken with other nutrients? Combining carnitine with CoQ10 is always a good idea, as these nutrients work together in your cells. Taking carnitine along with chromium and zinc can be very helpful for weight loss. Magnesium, taurine, and vitamin E, EPA, as well as CoQ10 all help carnitine benefit the heart more effectively. Remember to treat all health problems with the guidance of a health care practitioner.
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