Six surprising facts on L-carnitine


Supplementation with carnitine does not accelerate weight loss

Although L-carnitine takes part in the transport of long-chain fatty acids to the insides of mitochondria, where they may be burnt, it does not mean that its external application will accelerate this process. How is this possible? It’s simple. It rarely happens in practice that L-carnitine deficiency constitutes a factor limiting the pace of weight loss, usually the need for this compound is covered by its endogenous synthesis, complemented by food. A vast majority of studies, in which the usefulness of L-carnitine application in weight loss programs was tested, indicate that there are no satisfactory effects of supplementation. Unfortunately…


Supplementation with carnitine does not have considerable influence on sports results

L-carnitine is often presented as an agent improving oxygen efficiency, therefore sportsmen of endurance disciplines often use it. The mechanism conditioning this relationship is supposedly related with the above mentioned influence of L-carnitine on the process of transporting fatty acids – an efficient source of energy – to mitochondria of muscle cells. In practice, however, also in this case there are too few convincing studies that would confirm that L-carnitine indeed has such properties, although – interestingly – there are also some reports that supplementation with this compound may fully improve anaerobic abilities… For now, however, these are preliminary reports and we should treat them with caution.


L-carnitine is good for the heart

There are quite a lot of studies which say that supplementation with carnitine may be justified in case of circulatory system disorders, including very serious ones. Among others, it was proved that this substance, when applied orally, turns our to be helpful in case of myocardial ischemia and atherosclerosis of peripheral arteries. It was also observed that its application positively influences the state of health of people after coronary diseases. In such cases, carnitine improves tissue blood supply and increases efficiency and comfort of life. However, it should be added that last year a new study appeared, indicating that L-carnitine, under the influence of the activity of intestinal microflora, may be converted to a metabolite which is harmful for vessel epithelium. This study, despite causing many controversies, also turned out to have many limitations and further research is needed to verify its results.


L-carnitine increases the production of nitric oxide

Nitric oxide and substances which supposedly should increase its production have become best-sellers of sports supplementation (and not only) during the past years. It turns out that L-carnitine, and more precisely glycine propionyl-L-carnitine (GPLC) may considerably intensify the synthesis of this compound, which entails a range of positive consequences. In case of sportsmen, the most anticipated effect is the improvement of blood supply to muscles and the intensification of muscle pump. It should be added that GPLC in this respect is better supported by scientific studies than popular arginine, in case of which there is no evidence proving that its supplementation may indeed increase the production of nitric oxide in the organism.

L-carnitine improves fertility

Supplementation with L-carnitine may constitute an effective measure supporting the treatment of infertility in men. Research shows that taking ca. 3 g of this substance per day may lead to the increase of the production and motility of spermatozoa after a few or a few dozen weeks. It is a valuable piece of information for pairs who are trying to get pregnant. It turns our that by means supplementation with a cheap, easily available, safe and well-tolerated substance, we may considerably increase the chances for having a baby.


L-carnitine protects the nervous system and slows down aging of the brain

Supplementation with L-carnitine, and more precisely, with its acetylated form (acetyl-L-carnitine, in short ACLAR) may positively influence the survival of nerve cells, protecting them from a destructive influence of some factors. This effect is taken advantage of i.a. in case of supporting the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Supplementation with L-carnitine may be also helpful in case of diabetic neuropathy – a cumbersome ailment related to progressing damage of peripheral nerves (as a result of which sensory disturbances, pain and paresthesia appear). Interestingly, this type of advantages of this compound are rarely described in common sources…




As can be seen, L-carnitine is a compound with quite interesting properties. The problem is that its real advantages differ from the ones described in common sources. Is it worth applying L-carnitine supplementation? Judge yourself.

Posted on: August 24, 2018

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