Many people turn to L Carnitine to improve athletic performance and build muscle, others use it to combat fatigue and stress. In principle, the human body can form L carnitine itself, but it gets most of it from food. Does the additional intake for a pronounced L carnitine effect for the human body really make sense?
In this article we explain what kind of vitamin L carnitine is, how it works and how much of it your body needs. We also explain what forms of dietary supplements are available and give you tips on what to consider when taking them.
the essentials in brief
- The vitamin L carnitine is vital for the human body and is made from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. It occurs mainly in the muscles and in the heart muscle and contributes to energy production.
- It is available in many supplement forms such as capsules, vials and powder. These ensure effective fat burning, more energy, muscle building, fight fatigue and strengthen your immune system.
- The best way to have a sufficient carnitine content is to eat a healthy diet - a high intake is guaranteed, especially with animal foods. Otherwise there is the possibility of dietary supplements in the form of capsules, ampoules and powder.
L carnitine effect: what you should know
In order to provide you with comprehensive information about the effectiveness of L carnitine and to bring you closer to the current state of science, we have summarized all the important information for you in the following sections.
What is L Carnitine?
L Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance that the human body can synthesize itself as a chemical compound from the two essential amino acids methionine and lysine. In non-vegetarians, most sources of carnitine - about 75% - are from the diet, while endogenous synthesis accounts for about 25%. (1)
This happens in the kidneys, liver and brain. It is essential for life because it ensures that the cells are adequately supplied and is responsible for many biochemical processes that require energy. (2)
What is the effect of L carnitine on the human body?
The L carnitine is necessary to utilize the amino acids L-lysine and L-methionine, long-chain fatty acids. These can only get into the bound to L carnitine, which causes the cells to break down fat and gain energy from the stored fat reserves. L carnitine is said to improve the transport of fatty acids into the muscle cells and thus contribute to faster fat burning. (3)
The heart and muscles in particular are among the organs that get most of their energy from fat and are therefore dependent on L carnitine.
Because the fat is converted into energy and the energy metabolism is stimulated, more energy is available, which in turn can have a positive effect on sports performance. L carnitine ensures better muscle growth and regeneration. (4)
In addition, the L-carnitine effect can improve the metabolic imbalance in many congenital metabolic disorders. (5)
Strengthening of the immune system
L carnitine has a positive effect on the immune system. The body's immune cells depend on this vitamin for energy production. It increases antibody production and activates white blood cell formation.
What does the L carnitine effect mean for the psyche?
The nutrient not only affects the physical functioning of your body, but can also affect your psyche.
If you have to work a lot and are often under stress, L carnitine as a dietary supplement can have a positive effect on this mental stress by combating tiredness and listlessness. (6)
The vitamin has some positive effects on the body, but the L carnitine effect can also have some side effects that should not be ignored.
Here are a few common side effects to keep in mind:
- Elevated body temperature
- sleep disorders
- Excessive sweating
- nausea and vomiting
How much of the vitamin should I take in daily so that the L carnitine effect is given?
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) has not yet set a daily requirement for L carnitine. With a mixed diet, around 16 milligrams are ingested or produced by food every day. The muscles can store 20 to 25 milligrams of carnitine.
You should not take in more than two grams of L carnitine a day, but excess L carnitine is excreted by the body on its own.
What alternatives are there to the nutrient L carnitine?
Up to this point you have learned a lot about vitamin L carnitine and have been able to acquire some background information. Two possible alternatives with an effect similar to that of L carnitine are the two substances gabapentin and duloxetine, which we will introduce to you below.
Gabapentin is an antiepileptic drug. It has antiepileptic, analgesic and sedative properties and acts on nerves and chemicals in the body involved in causing seizures and certain types of pain.
Gabapentin is available in the form of film-coated tablets and capsules. Possible undesirable effects include drowsiness, dizziness, ataxia and viral infections.
The drug gabapentin is approved for certain uses, but is also misused for many other uses around the world. It is prescribed in older adults for seizures, pain, migraines, and aggression associated with dementia. (9)
The mood-enhancing and pain-relieving drug duloxetine is used to treat various mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders as well as pain and nervous disorders. These effects are based on the selective inhibition of the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Duloxetine's action involves the inhibition of neuroimmune mechanisms associated with nerve injury. (10)
It is commercially available in the form of capsules. Unwanted side effects include headache, nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, and dizziness.
L carnitine is a very important amino acid compound for the body's energy production from fatty acids. Ingestion can appear therapeutically useful for some diseases, but is not recommended for healthy people.
You should pay attention to your diet and try to reduce long-term stress if possible. When taking supplements, you should be careful and not underestimate the effects. If there is no corresponding medical diagnosis and you eat a varied and balanced diet, you are usually adequately supplied and can benefit from the L carnitine effect.
- Almannai M, Alfadhel M, El-Hattab AW. (2019). Carnitine Inborn Errors of Metabolism. Molecules.
- Rospond B, Chłopicka J. (2013). [The biological function of L-carnitine and its content in the particular food examples].
- Pekala J, Patkowska-Sokoła B, Bodkowski R, Jamroz D, Nowakowski P, Lochyński S, Librowski T. (2011). L-carnitine--metabolic functions and meaning in humans life.
- Roger Fielding; Linda Riede; James P Lugo and Aouatef Bellamine (2018). L-carnitine supplementation in recovery after exercise.
- Ferreira GC, McKenna MC. L(2017). L Carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine Roles and Neuroprotection in Developing Brain.
- Modanloo M, Shokrzadeh M (2019). Analyzing l Dysfunction, Oxidative Stress, and Apoptosis: Potential Role of L-carnitine.
- Judit Bene, Kinga Hadzsiev and Bela Melegh (2018). Role of carnitine and its derivatives in the development and management of type 2 diabetes.
- Karlic H, Lohninger A (2004). Supplementation of L-carnitine in athletes: does it make sense?
- McPherson D, Wick JY. (2019). Gabapentin: Change is in the Wind.
- Mélanie Kremer, Ipek Yalcin, Yannick Goumon, Xavier Wurtz, Laurent Nexon, Dorothée Daniel, Salim Megat, Rhian A. Ceredig, Carl Ernst, Gustavo Turecki, Virginie Chavant, Jean-François Théroux, Adrien Lacaud, Lauriane-Elisabeth Joganah, Vincent Lelievre , Dominique Massotte, Pierre-Eric Lutz, Ralf Gilsbach, Eric Salvat and Michel Barrot (2018). A Dual Noradrenergic Mechanism for the Relief of Neuropathic Allodynia by the Antidepressant Drugs Duloxetine and Amitriptyline.