Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

L-Carnitine For Health & Muscle Growth: What You Need To Know About L-Carnitine


L-carnitine is a nutritional supplement that has been touted by body builders and other athletes as a safe and helpful way to create bigger and more efficient muscles. Some physicians and researchers have looked at L-carnitine to prevent muscle wasting in people who need kidney dialysis; alternative medicine purveyors suggest that L-carnitine may stop cellular aging. In order for you to make a healthy decision about using L-carnitine, we've put together some information any potential buyer should have.

What is L-carnitine, anyways?

L-carnitine is a modified amino acid, produced in the liver. Most amino acids form the building blocks of proteins, which in turn provide much of the structure and function of the body. L-carnitine is different than amino acids in that it doesn't form a part of a protein; instead it serves as a delivery van, moving fats into specialized parts of our cells, where they can be used for energy.

Several conditions can result in lowered L-carnitine levels, including:

-rare genetic (hereditary) conditions-loss of L-carnitine during dialysis (the mechanical process used to clean the blood in patients whose kidneys can't manage it)-certain persons (for example, premature babies) who may not get enough L-carnitine in their diets and cannot make adequate amounts in their livers

Where can I get some?

Most people synthesize (make) enough L-carnitine for their needs in the liver. You can also get significant amounts in your diet from:

-ground beef-pork-milk-fish

Even strict vegetarians generally make enough that they don't need to eat meat to have the needed L-carnitine ; they can also get small amounts from sources like avocado, whole wheat bread and asparagus.

Should I be taking L-carnitine supplements?

People who have a liver condition that doesn't allow L-carnitine to be synthesized need to take L-carnitine supplements in order to survive; this is also the case for people who are born with kidneys that excrete L-carnitine in large amounts.

Because L-carnitine is so important in creating energy, many people swear by it to enhance their athletic activity. They feel that this is particularly important in their muscles, which often need lots of energy in order to increase in size (as in body building) and to function over long periods of time (in marathon runners).

Unfortunately, studies to date have not shown conclusively that supplementation improves athletic performance or muscle bulk. Some research suggests though that larger studies need to be done to see if there is an effect on certain types of exercise or certain sub-groups of athletes.

There is a little more evidence that L-carnitine may be useful for people with conditions that lead to loss of L-carnitine, for example:

*Aging. Some studies suggest that energy and memory losses may in part be due to decreased levels of L-carnitine in older rats and mice; L-carnitine has been shown to partially reverse these changes. Large studies are planned to see if L-carnitine has this effect on aging humans

*Heart damage. Several studies in humans suggest that L-carnitine supplementation after myocardial infarction (heart attack) may help the heart repair damaged cells and help it function better. L-carnitine even seems to help people who are having angina - the pain that sometimes precedes heart attack.

*Muscle loss from kidney disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of L-carnitine in dialysis patients to prevent and treat carnitine deficiency that is caused by kidney disease and dialysis. While it does not work for all patients who experience muscle weakness and loss, it is available as an alternative if standard treatments aren't working.

The Short Answer...

Unless you have one of a few specific conditions, it's not yet clear whether L-carnitine will help you with your goals. Since for some people (including those with seizure disorders, who have Alzheimer's disease, or who are pregnant and nursing) L-carnitine supplements may be dangerous, your best bet might be to wait until more information is available.

Sources Used:

Brass E., "Supplemental carnitine and exercise," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 72, issue supplement 2, p 618S-623S, 2002

Davini P, et al "Controlled study on L-carnitine therapeutic efficacy in post-infarction," Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research, Volume 18, issue 8, p 355-365, 1992

Hagen T., et al. "Feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress," Proceeds of the National Academy of Science, Volume 99, issue 4, p1870-1875, 2002

National Kidney Foundation, "Adult Guidelines for Maintenance Dialysis: L-carnitine," update 2000

Sakurauchi Y, et al., "Effects of L-carnitine supplementation on muscular symptoms in hemodialyzed patients," American Journal of Kidney Disease, Volume 32, p258-264, 1998.

Sein, H., "Carnitine and its precursor, gamma-butyrobetaine," In: Kramer K, et al, eds. Nutraceuticals in Health and Disease Prevention, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc, p 217-256, 2001

Wachter, S. et al, "Long-term administration of L-carnitine to humans: effect on skeletal muscle carnitine content and physical performance," Clinica Chimica Acta, Volume 318, issues 1-2, p. 51-61, 2002

Copyright (C) Shoppe.MD and Ian Mason, 2004-2005

Learn more about health, diet and exercise at our weight loss forum.

PhenForum.com is a popular discussion forum for weight loss programs, diet advice, and tips to help you burn fat.

All the best,

Ian Mason


MORE RESOURCES:

LiveScience.com

Why Are You Taking Fish Oil Supplements?
LiveScience.com
The other day, I was chatting with a friend about supplements, and found out something that concerned me a bit. Apparently, my friend had been taking fish oil supplements for years, but the concerning part is that she didn't really seem to know why she ...



FDA warns maker of controversial sports supplement Craze
USA TODAY
Federal regulators have warned the maker of the once popular sports supplement Craze about its proprietary blend of ingredients and tests showing an undisclosed methamphetamine-like compound in the product, records made public Tuesday show.



ABC News

Calathes' suspension shows risk of using supplements
Winston-Salem Journal
It also warns of the potential dangers of supplements, which are not required to list all their ingredients on them. "If a player were to take something, some kind of supplement, and it contained a banned substance, like tamoxifen, or something else ...
Suspension of Grizzlies guard Calathes a reminder of risk of supplementsFox News

all 130 news articles »


Science World Report

Herbal Supplements Are The Most Commonly Used Type Of Complementary ...
Huffington Post
Herbs and other dietary supplements besides vitamins are the most commonly used type of "complementary medicine" (also called alternative medicine) in the United States, followed by visits to chiropractors, yoga and massage, a new report finds. In 2012 ...
Herbal supplements most common complementary medicine in USHealthCentral.com
Yoga Big on West Coast, Chiropractors Popular in MidwestU.S. News & World Report
Which States Are the Most Into Alternative Medicine?Health.com

all 20 news articles »


Nutritional Supplement Expert Barry DeHart Releases'The Best Nutritional ...
Broadway World
Barry Dehart, a leading expert in the nutritional/dietary supplement industry and owner of PlayTime Concepts in Englishtown, New Jersey, MySupplementShop.com and the nutritional supplement and sports fitness information/advice website, ...



The new energy crisis: Can supplements and vitamins provide a boost?
Calaveras Enterprise
Just check out the countless bottles of energy supplements, refrigerators stocked with high-powered energy drinks, and energy bars overflowing at check-out counters. Whether man or woman, young or old, everyone seems to want more energy in an ...



PJ Media

Dietary supplements: The deadly toll of deregulation
Los Angeles Times
Here's the bad news: A dietary supplement named OxyElite Pro is still apparently making people sick, more than a year after the Hawaii Department of Health was alerted to seven cases of acute hepatitis and liver failure among its users. As of last ...
Bee pollen weight loss supplements can sting youConsumerReports.org
Are Diet Supplements Dangerous?PJ Media
The Importance of DSHEA: Past, Present and FutureNatural Products INSIDER

all 4 news articles »


How Much Value Do Sports Nutrition Supplements Add?
Natural Products INSIDER (blog)
The late 1970s to the early 1980s marked the addition of muscle magazines to my nighttime reading routine. Invariably, each issue made some mention like “nutrition and supplements are responsible for up to 80 percent of your gains.” In retrospect, this ...



Food Safety News

Diet supplement causes nearly 100 hepatitis cases
Fox News
A popular diet supplement has caused an outbreak of severe liver disease, sickening nearly 100 people in 16 states since it was first reported in Hawaii last year, according to a new paper. The publication calls for a better system to remove dangerous ...
Article: Supplements Need Review Before They Can Do Damage, Not AfterwardFood Safety News
Industry experts dispute dietary supplement critic Cohen's call for sweeping ...NutraIngredients-usa.com
NEJM Article Calls for DSHEA Overhaul, Industry for Serious EnforcementNatural Products INSIDER

all 9 news articles »


CRN: FDA's IND Guidance Could Harm Supplement Innovation
Natural Products INSIDER
WASHINGTON—FDA guidance governing investigational new drug (IND) applications improperly brings within its scope cosmetics, conventional foods and dietary supplements, creating uncertainty for researchers and companies, and potentially driving up ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.