Neuro Drinks: A Primer on L-Carnitine and Its Benefits
L-Carnitine is a compound derived from amino acids that are generated in the brain, kidneys, and liver. Its name comes from the Latin word “carnus,” which means flesh, chosen because it was first extracted from meat extracts in 1905. As the experts at Neuro Drinks explain, carnitine is a broad term that refers to several compounds, which include L-carnitine, propionyl-L-carnitine, and acetyl-L-carnitine.
Table of Contents
How Does Carnitine Work?
Carnitine is a significant element of energy production. It sends long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria. Once the fatty acids reach the mitochondria, they are oxidized to generate energy. In addition, carnitine removes the toxic compounds the mitochondria produce as by-products of energy production. Doing so prevents accumulation. Carnitine is concentrated in tissues such as cardiac and skeletal muscles that metabolize fatty acids for energy.
What Exactly is L-Carnitine?
L-carnitine is a conditional essential nutrient, meaning that, in most cases, the body produces enough L-carnitine on its own. The liver and kidneys create L-carnitine from the amino acids methionine and lysine. The kidneys store the L-carnitine for later use and discard the excess through urination. When the body cannot generate enough of the compound, an oral or food supplement must be taken. L-carnitine can be found in certain foods, including beef and pork.
The Benefits of L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is an element essential for creating fuel for the cells. The major function of the compound is to break down fatty acids, turning them into energy. This allows the cells to have energy for longer periods. It also works to ensure the cells work efficiently. The minor function of L-carnitine is to help eliminate particular waste products from the cells. Doing so prevents accumulation that could otherwise cause health issues later.
As the scientists at Neuro Drinks point out, L-carnitine boosts heart health. The compound may help with circulation following a heart attack. Moreover, L-carnitine supplements may remedy heart failure symptoms, including arrhythmia and chest pain. The experts at Neuro Drinks mention that research is ongoing regarding the benefits of L-carnitine to heart health.
In addition, L-carnitine supplements may aid existing cancer treatments. Patients going through chemotherapy may experience an L-carnitine deficit. Taking L-carnitine supplements helps reduce symptoms such as weakness and fatigue. Currently, researchers are looking into possible ways L-carnitine can prevent tissue damage due to chemotherapy.
Also, L-carnitine supports healthy kidney and liver function. As these organs help produce L-carnitine, failure in their function may lead to an L-carnitine deficiency. Indeed, doctors may prescribe L-carnitine supplements to aid organ function and avoid a deficit for patients with liver and kidney problems.
L-Carnitine in Practical Settings
Some athletes take L-carnitine to boost their athletic performance. The compound limits muscle metabolism during high-intensity workouts. Theoretically, L-carnitine may improve athletic performance, though the information on that is speculative.
Some individuals trying to lose weight take L-carnitine supplements to help them reach their fitness goals. While more study is needed to cement this claim, there is substantial evidence that it does aid in weight loss. Still, healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle are needed, along with taking L-carnitine supplements for weight loss.
According to the experts at Neuro Drinks, there is even evidence that L-carnitine may slow the aging process. As they point out, a decrease in mitochondrial function advances the aging process. Recent studies, however, have demonstrated that taking acetyl-L-carnitine along with alpha-lipoic acid helps minimize mitochondrial decay.
It is important to remember that a healthy lifestyle is important to keep the body and its functions working properly. A healthy diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains encourages L-carnitine production. To maintain a healthy body, you should avoid consuming food and drinks with excessive sugars, sodium, and saturated fat. The experts at Neuro Drinks also recommend limiting alcoholic beverages and staying within the calorie intake range prescribed by a doctor or dietician for optimal health benefits.