The Amino Acid L Carnitine And Weight Loss – What Is Science’s Take On That?
Let me try to unravel the mystery of the connection between L-carnitine and weight loss for you. Hardly any other dietary supplement that supports weight loss is in circulation for as long and is known as much as L-carnitine.
It consists of two amino acids, the methionine and lysine, and the heart muscle along with the brain mainly store it. Nevertheless, the muscles must obtain the L-carnitine from the blood, because the liver and kidneys are the leading producers of this essential nutrient.
The task of L-Carnitine is to bind fats and make them accessible to so-called ß-oxidation (Beta Oxidation). L-Carnitine, thus, serves as a transport vehicle that brings fatty acids into the combustion furnaces of the cells: the mitochondria.
More L-carnitine, Less Body Fat?
Nutrition scientists, therefore, came up with the idea that an increased L-carnitine intake might also stimulate fat burning. In fact, they conducted an analysis of exhaled air to detect increased fat burning in subjects who had ingested 3 grams of L-carnitine for a little longer than a week.
Consequently, the increased fat burning would also have to result directly in weight loss? Unfortunately, this is not so easy. L-carnitine switches the burning of calories, so the body uses fewer carbohydrates and all the more fatty acids as an energy source. However, this does not mean that the basic metabolic rate will be raised.
Those who continue to consume the same amount of calories will burn more fat, but may also store more.
Because, in this case, the body can produce fatty acids from the less burnt carbohydrates and apply body fat. It’s the number of calories that decisive.
When does L-carnitine become supportive of weight loss?
Existing L-carnitine studies reflect the importance of calorie reduction. Participants in such an examination, divided into two groups, either only adhered to a calorie-restricted diet or took L-carnitine in addition to the diet.
Participants in the L-Carnitine group reduced their body weight by an additional 25 percent.
A comparable dose of L-carnitine (2 grams per day) did not achieve weight loss in obese women who were prescribed a daily running program of 30 minutes. Women who didn’t take it didn’t take weight off either. Both groups, however, did not reduce their calorie intake.
What is interesting, therefore, is the third study, in which the 30 participants were put on a 7-day, highly calorie-reduced diet.
From these, they had to fast for five days. Meaning, they had to completely give up food and eat extremely little on the remaining two days.
They gave half of the participants 4 gram of L-carnitine every day. The differences were quite pronounced even during this period.
By the way, if you are interested in reading and learning more about intermittent fasting, then you’ve come to the right place, too. Intermittent fasting is a wonderful way to get your natural food consumption cycle under control and balanced again.
So, if you’re not able to stick to a specific diet yet, but aim for a healthier lifestyle or weight loss, then intermittent fasting is a great beginner’s point for you.
The L-carnitine group lost 10 pounds in body weight compared to a decrease of seven pounds in the control group. They also lost 2 inches of abdominal circumference versus 0.7 inches in the control studies.
In addition, participants treated with L-carnitine were less hungry and felt less fatigue due to severe calorie reduction. Participants suffered from metabolic syndrome and were overweight .
So, taking L-carnitine without a corresponding reduction in calories is quite pointless. On the other hand, it seems to favor weight loss, especially combined with a very strict diet or fasting phase. It would be more desirable, however, if there were more qualitative clinical-trials in place to have a clear certainty about actual efficiency.
L-Carnitine in Senior Citizens
A frequently overlooked fact is that with age, L-carnitine concentration within the muscles drops measurably. An elderly person has only half of the L-carnitine stored in the muscles compared to a young person.
Taking into account the fundamental importance of carnitine not only for fat burning but also for the metabolism and proper function of brain cells, the question arises as to whether supplementation may hold benefits for better health at a higher age.
In the animal study, the administration of L-carnitine to older animals led to the increase of cell power plants within cells.
Acetyl-L-carnitine improved cell cleansing of age-typical deposits within cells at age. These deposits in the form of age pigments can affect the functionality of cells.
In the clinical field, they administered L-carnitine to seniors who have suffered from age-typical fatigue.
A daily dose of 2 gram increased participants’ physical activity. Additionally, it counteracted both physical and mental fatigue. Plus, it even resulted in a 6.6-pound reduction in body fat and 4.4-pound of muscle gain. These were probably the achievements due to increased movement.
Conclusion and L-carnitine Application
If you are looking for a remedy that will melt down your extra pounds on its own, L-carnitine is certainly the wrong way to go. Along with a calorie-restricted diet or fasting phase, however, it can likely support weight loss; especially in the elderly.
The required dose is in the range of 3 grams of L-carnitine daily. Preferably, one can always take it with a smaller amount of carbohydrate. That is because the insulin release increases the absorption of L-carnitine.
By the way, we wrote an interesting article about macronutrients, including amino acids, proteins, lipid/fats, etc. It’s very informative for everyone who wants not only to go with the flow but understand why certain nutrients are extremely essential in order to stay healthy and fit.
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