A form of carnitine, which is a compound made in muscle and liver tissue and found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy items. L-carnitine is also a drug that is utilized to deal with patients who do not make sufficient carnitine and is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage triggered by chemotherapy. Carnitine is a type of dietary supplement. Also called carnitor and levocarnitine. (1 )


L-carnitine is a chemical that is made in the human brain, liver, and kidneys. It assists the body turn fat into energy.

L-carnitine is essential for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and numerous other body processes. The body can transform l-carnitine to other chemicals called acetyl-l-carnitine and propionyl-l-carnitine. But it’s not clear whether the advantages of these other carnitines are the same.

L-carnitine is used to increase l-carnitine levels in individuals whose natural level of l-carnitine is too low. Some individuals also utilize l-carnitine for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, serious kidney disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good clinical proof to support these uses. (2 ).


Carnitine was discovered in 1905 as a significant part of muscle and its structure and optical residential or commercial properties were characterised by 1927. The isomer discovered in all tissues throughout the animal and plant kingdoms is l-carnitine. Despite its structural similarity to choline, no role in neurotransmission has actually been discovered. In 1952, l-carnitine was discovered to be important for the growth of the mealworm, tenebrio molitor. Without carnitine, the mealworms might not use fat shops when starved. In the meantime, friedman and fraenkel discovered that carnitine was reversibly acetylated by acetyl-coa in the presence of muscle homogenate. Fritz demonstrated that carnitine promoted fat oxidation in the liver homogenates, which caused the elucidation of the function of carnitine in carrying triggered long chain fats into the mitochondria for β-oxidation. This function has actually controlled the perception of the role of the carnitine system for nearly 40 years. (3 ).

Biosynthesis and metabolic process

Numerous eukaryotes have the ability to manufacture carnitine, consisting of humans. Humans manufacture carnitine from the substrate tml (6-n-trimethyllysine), which is in turn derived from the methylation of the amino acid lysine. Tml is then hydroxylated into hydroxytrimethyllysine (html) by trimethyllysine dioxygenase (tmld), requiring the presence of ascorbic acid and iron. Html is then cleaved by html aldolase (a pyridoxal phosphate requiring enzyme), yielding 4-trimethylaminobutyraldehyde (tmaba) and glycine. Tmaba is then dehydrogenated into gamma-butyrobetaine in an nad+- dependent response, catalyzed by tmaba dehydrogenase.gamma-butyrobetaine is then hydroxylated by gamma butyrobetaine hydroxylase (a zinc binding enzyme) into l-carnitine, needing iron in the form of fe2+.

Carnitine is involved in carrying fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane, by forming a long chain acetylcarnitine ester and being transported by carnitine palmitoyltransferase i and carnitine palmitoyltransferase ii. Carnitine likewise plays a role in supporting acetyl-coa and coenzyme a levels through the ability to get or give an acetyl group.

Tissue circulation of carnitine-biosynthetic enzymes

The tissue circulation of carnitine-biosynthetic enzymes in people shows tmld to be active in the liver, heart, muscle, brain and greatest in kidney. Htmla activity is discovered primarily in the liver. The rate of tmaba oxidation is greatest in the liver, with substantial activity likewise in the kidney. (4 ).

L-carnitine shuttle bus

L-carnitine shuttle bus fats into mitochondria and has actually been proposed as a prospective treatment for type 2 dm based upon its possible results on intracellular lipid build-up. A pilot research study discovered no improvements in glycemic control after 4 weeks of l-carnitine usage in 12 patients with type 2 dm however, a number of trials have actually reported that l-carnitine improves lipid parameters and substantially minimizes lipoprotein (a), a crucial independent inherited cardiac risk aspect for which couple of efficient treatments exist. (5 ).

Mechanism of action

Levocarnitine can be synthesised within the body from the amino acids lysine or methionine. Vitamin c (ascorbic acid) is vital to the synthesis of carnitine. Levocarnitine is a carrier molecule in the transportation of long chain fats across the inner mitochondrial membrane. It also exports acyl groups from subcellular organelles and from cells to urine before they accumulate to poisonous concentrations. Only the l isomer of carnitine (in some cases called vitamin bt) impacts lipid metabolic process. Levocarnitine is managed by a number of proteins in various pathways including carnitine transporters, carnitine translocases, carnitine acetyltransferases and carnitine palmitoyltransferases. (6 ).


Carnitine is a broad term that explains a couple of various compounds. L-carnitine is a more typical form of carnitine, present in the body and lots of supplements. Other kinds of carnitine consist of:.

Acetyl l-carnitine: this form, in some cases called alcar, also contributes in metabolic process. It possesses neuroprotective properties that may help safeguard the nerve system.

D-carnitine: this type is the optical isomer (mirror image) of l-carnitine. It is poisonous to the body, as it may inhibit the absorption of other types of carnitine.

L-carnitine l-tartrate: professional athletes might utilize this type in the form of sports supplements. Research study suggests that it might work in minimizing muscle pain and helping recovery.

Propionyl-l-carnitine: this kind displays pain easing and antirheumatic homes, and it might benefit heart health. (7 ).

Food sources

You can get small amounts of l-carnitine from your diet plan by consuming meat and fish.

The very best sources of l-carnitine are:.

  • Beef: 81 mg per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Pork: 24 mg per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Fish: 5 mg per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Chicken: 3 mg per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Milk: 8 mg per 8 ounces (227 ml)

Surprisingly, food sources of l-carnitine have a greater absorption rate than supplements.

According to one research study, 57– 84% of l-carnitine is absorbed when it’s taken in from food, compared to only 14– 18% when taken as a supplement.

As noted before, your body can also produce this compound naturally from the amino acids methionine and lysine if your stores are low.

For these reasons, l-carnitine supplements are just required in diplomatic immunities, such as illness treatment.


The primary dietary sources of l-carnitine are meat, fish and some other animal products, such as milk. A healthy person can also produce adequate quantities within the body. (8 ).

Advantages of L-carnitine

Although lots of people call l-carnitine an amino acid, it’s in fact more of a vitamin-like substance that plays a number of functions in your body. It’s formed in your liver and kidneys and made from two essential amino acids (lysine and methionine). Some doctor recommend l-carnitine in supplement type to help support those with heart disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and other health conditions. But because of its function in fat metabolic process, it’s best understood for its capability to assist in weight reduction, particularly when integrated with a healthy diet and workout regimen.

L-carnitine plays an important role in the transportation of fats to the mitochondria, where they’re transformed to energy. There’s a whole lot of science to it, obviously, however to keep it basic, we’ll put it this way: l-carnitine might effectively be the answer to your weight loss dreams. Have a look below at 5 advantages of l-carnitine weight reduction supplement and how it can assist you shed pounds both straight and indirectly.

L-carnitine burns fat

With higher levels of l-carnitine, your body ends up being more efficient at burning fat. Not only does this reduce the quantity of fat that your body stores, however it also helps reduce visceral belly fat, the kind that surrounds your crucial organs and potentially results in fatty liver disease and other major health conditions.

More energy during and after a workout

As your body’s capability for fat-burning rises, so does your energy level. L-carnitine not just helps you increase the amount of fat burned with every workout, however you also get more energy for better exercises and an active way of life.

L-carnitine enhances your metabolism to help you slim down

Taking that energy increase into your workout regimen will enable you to perform with more strength, supplying an increase to your metabolic process. A more efficient metabolic process significantly aids your weight-loss program since you’ll increase the quantity of calories you have the ability to burn– even at rest.

Improved recovery from an l-carnitine injection

L-carnitine helps reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles. Muscle lactate accumulation is accountable for discomfort and muscle fatigue after an extreme exercise. L-carnitine helps clear out the lactate so you recuperate more quickly and can get back to that fat-melting workout that’s so central to your weight loss program.

L-carnitine help the body’s immune system

In addition to the fat-burning and weight-loss benefits of l-carnitine, it also aids the body’s body immune system and operates as an effective anti-oxidant also. How does this link to your weight loss program? Easy: the better you feel, the most likely you are to put on your gym clothing on and get your body moving.

It is very important to note that l-carnitine will not help you burn fat or drop weight if you do not combine it with a healthy diet plan and exercise routine. If you’ve already developed a healthy regimen, however it does not appear to be assisting you shed pounds, l-carnitine lipotropic injections might be simply what you require to assist increase the effect of the work you’re already doing. (9 ).

Further more

Heart conditions

Angina. Research study suggests that carnitine can be utilized together with conventional treatment for stable angina. Several scientific trials reveal that l-carnitine and propionyl-l-carnitine can help in reducing symptoms of angina and enhance the ability of people with angina to work out without chest pain. Do not selftreat chest discomfort with carnitine, however. See your healthcare service provider for medical diagnosis and conventional treatment, and take carnitine only under your service provider’s guidance.

Cardiac arrest. A couple of research studies recommend that carnitine might assist when used with conventional medicines after a cardiovascular disease, but not all studies concur. Some little research studies recommend that people who take l-carnitine supplements right after a cardiac arrest might be less most likely to have another cardiovascular disease, die of cardiovascular disease, have chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms, or establish cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, other studies show no benefit. Treatment with oral carnitine might also enhance muscle weak point. Carnitine should be utilized along with standard medication under your supplier’s supervision.

Heart failure. A few little studies have recommended that carnitine (generally propionyl-l-carnitine) can help reduce symptoms of heart failure and improve exercise capability in individuals with heart failure. However, more research study is needed.

Peripheral vascular disease

Lowered blood circulation to the legs from atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, where plaque develops in the arteries, frequently causes an aching or constraining pain in the legs while walking or working out. This pain is called periodic claudication, and the minimized blood circulation to the legs is called peripheral vascular illness (pvd). A number of research studies reveal that carnitine can help reduce signs and enhance movement amongst people with intermittent claudication. Many studies have actually used propionyl-l-carnitine. Researchers do not know whether l-carnitine would work the very same.

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy takes place when high blood glucose levels damage nerves in the body, especially the arms, legs, and feet, triggering discomfort and numbness. Preliminary studies suggest acetyl-l-carnitine might help reduce pain and boost sensation in afflicted nerves. It is also possible that carnitine can assist nerves restore. More research is needed.

Workout performance

Although carnitine is typically required to boost exercise efficiency, more research study is needed.

Weight reduction

Although l-carnitine has been marketed as a weight-loss supplement, clinical evidence is doing not have. Some research studies show that oral carnitine may help in reducing fat mass, boost muscle mass, and reduce fatigue, which may add to weight loss in some people.

Alzheimer illness and memory impairment

Evidence is mixed regarding whether carnitine is useful in dealing with alzheimer disease. A number of early studies showed that acetyl-l-carnitine, might help decrease the development of alzheimer illness, relieve depression related to senility and other forms of dementia, and improve memory in the senior. But larger and better-designed studies discovered it did not assist at all. People need to take carnitine for alzheimer disease and other kinds of dementia only under the guidance of their service provider.

Kidney disease and dialysis

Because the kidneys make carnitine, kidney disease could lead to low levels of carnitine in the body. If you have kidney disease, your service provider may prescribe carnitine. Do not take carnitine without medical supervision.

Male infertility

Low sperm counts have actually been connected to low carnitine levels in guys. Several studies suggest that l-carnitine supplements may increase sperm count and motility.


Preliminary studies recommend propionyl-l-carnitine may help improve male sexual function. One research study found that carnitine improved the efficiency of sidenafil (viagra) in guys with diabetes who had not previously responded to viagra. In another research study, a mix of propionyl-l-carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine enhanced the efficiency of viagra in males who had impotence after prostate surgery. More research studies are required.

Peyronie disease

Peyronie disease is defined by a curvature of the penis that causes pain throughout an erection. One appealing study compared acetyl-l-carnitine to the medication tamoxifen in 48 males with this condition. Acetyl-l-carnitine worked much better than tamoxifen at reducing discomfort during sex and decreasing the curve of the penis. Acetyl-l-carnitine likewise had less adverse effects than tamoxifen. More research study is needed.


Some research suggests that l-carnitine might assist prevent or reduce symptoms of an overactive thyroid, such as sleeping disorders, anxiety, heart palpitations, and tremblings. In fact, in one study, a little group of individuals with hyperthyroidism saw these signs enhance, and their body temperature level end up being normal, when taking carnitine. But a larger, better-designed scientific trial is required to see if carnitine actually works. In addition, researchers believe carnitine might work by blocking the action of thyroid hormonal agent, which could be hazardous for individuals with low thyroid levels. Do not take carnitine for hyperthyroidism without your medical professional’s guidance. (10 ).

L-carnitine and females’s health

Many specialists of option and integrative medicine are familiar with the vital functions l-carnitine plays in energy production, oxidative tension, and glucose metabolism.l-carnitine has been shown in animal designs to support mitochondrial membranes, increase energy provided to organelles, and protect versus cellular apoptotic death.acetyl l-carnitine is believed to offer additional scientific applications. It may support mitochondrial function, memory, and antioxidant status. It may likewise have a structural function in peripheral and central worried tissue. Perhaps less familiar, is that l- carnitine supplements has actually been used to support glucose metabolic process and some research study has actually shown that l-carnitine insufficiency is even a contributing aspect to associated health status. One study revealed that a subset of ladies looking for hormone balance had lower levels of serum l-carnitine which reduction was correlated to changes in sex hormonal agents and insulin. A lot more particularly, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, carried out in egypt assessed the efficiency of l-carnitine on the occurrence of ovulation and pregnancy in women seeking healthy fertility. Women were randomly designated to one of two groups. Group a (n= 85) received 250 mg of a traditional representative planned for ovulation from day 3 till day 7 of the menstrual cycle, plus l-carnitine 3 grams daily. Group b (n= 85) received 250 mg of the exact same traditional agent with placebo.

The combination of l-carnitine and the traditional representative substantially enhanced both the ovulation rates (64.4% with l-carnitine vs 17.4% with placebo) and the cumulative pregnancy rates (51.5% vs 5.8%). In addition, there was a significantly higher level of serum progesterone in the luteal phase amongst the l-carnitine and traditional agent group (group a) compared with the control group (group b). There were likewise extra metabolic advantages in the women in group a after 12 weeks.

Pregnancy rates are the name of the game in women taking the common conventional agent utilized in this study and the lead to this study were engaging in this regard. Explanations for this can include: a boost in luteal stage progesterone higher endometrial thickness (group a =10.1 mm vs group b =6.8 mm) the free radical scavenging impact of l-carnitine and subsequent effects on the.

Endometrial blood flow eventually supporting healthy endometrial receptivity in the peri-implantation stage. (11 ).

Negative effects of l-carnitine

Get emergency situation medical aid if you have any of these indications of an allergy: hives; hard breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your medical professional at the same time if you have:.

  • A seizure (convulsions).
  • Typical adverse effects may include:
  • Stomach pain;
  • Nausea, vomiting; or

This is not a complete list of side effects and others might take place. Call your medical professional for medical guidance about negative effects. (12 ).


Due to the fact that it increases adenosine triphosphate (atp) generation and cellular oxidative breathing procedures, l-carnitine is typically given with an antioxidant such as alpha-lipoic acid.

Aids-related dementia complex: an iv dose of acetyl-l-carnitine 3 g/day for 4 weeks.

Athletic efficiency: minimal data support using l-carnitine 3 or 4g in extended time to fatigue.

Cachexia: liquid l-carnitine 4 g/day for 12 weeks administered orally.

Heart disease, secondary avoidance: oral maintenance dosages of l-carnitine 2 to 6 g/day for up to 12 months have been used in scientific research studies; some trials used oral or iv loading doses of 6 or 9 g/day for 5 to 7 days.

Diabetes mellitus, type 2: l-carnitine 2 g daily for 1 year as a combination treatment with either orlistat or sibutramine. Other treatment options include an iv dosage of acetyl-l-carnitine 5 mg/kg bolus loading dosage followed by 0.025, 0.1, or 1 mg/kg continuous infusion.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy: acetyl-l-carnitine 1 g, 3 times daily administered over 1 year in adults with type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Dyslipidemia: a mix treatment of l-carnitine 2 g daily with orlistat in adults with type 2 diabetes. A routine of 500 mg twice daily was offered for 12 weeks for dyslipidemia in patients with coronary artery disease without comorbid diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease.

Dysthymic condition: oral acetyl-l-carnitine1 g, 3 times daily for 7 weeks in elderly patients.

Hepatotoxicity induced by interferon/ribavirin treatment: l-carnitine 2 g administered orally twice daily for 12 months.

Hepatotoxicity caused by tuberculosis routine: carnitine 1 g administered orally twice everyday for 4 weeks.

Hepatotoxicity caused by valproic acid overdose: iv loading dose of l-carnitine 100 mg/kg; an upkeep dosage of 50 mg/kg (to a maximum of 3 g/dose) administered every 8 hours may be used.

Infertility, male: carnitine 2 g/day, l-carnitine 2 to 3 g/day, acetyl-l-carnitine 0.5 to 3 g/day for approximately 26 weeks is recommended.

Periodic claudication: propionyl-l-carnitine (plc) 2 g once daily in patients with peripheral artery illness, combined with exercise training and other methods.

Migraine prophylaxis: l-carnitine 500 mg/day administered orally for 12 weeks.

Mitochondrialmyopathy: l-carnitine 3 g/day for 2 months.

Muscle cramps: l-carnitine 300 mg administered 3 to 4 times daily for 8 weeks in patients with cirrhosis. (13 ).

Possible interactions with: carnitine (l-carnitine)

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you need to not use carnitine without first speaking to your healthcare provider.

Azt– in a lab study, l-carnitine supplements protected muscle tissue versus hazardous side effects from azt, a medication utilized to treat hiv and aids. Additional research studies are required to validate whether l-carnitine would also have this effect in people.

Doxorubicin– treatment with l-carnitine may protect heart cells against the toxic side effects of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy medication utilized to deal with cancer, without reducing the efficiency of medication. Always speak with your oncologist prior to combining any complementary or alternative treatment with chemotherapy.

Isotretinoin– isotretinoin (accutane), a strong medication used for extreme acne, can cause problems in liver function, determined by a blood test, in addition to high cholesterol and muscle pain and weakness. These symptoms are similar to those seen with carnitine deficiency. Scientists in greece revealed that a big group of people who had side effects from isotretinoin got better when taking l-carnitine compared to those who took a placebo.

Valproic acid– the anticonvulsant medication valproic acid may lower blood levels of carnitine and can cause carnitine deficiency. Taking l-carnitine supplements might prevent any shortage and might likewise decrease the adverse effects of valproic acid. (14 ).

Special safety measures cautions Pregnancy and breast-feeding:

not enough is known about making use of acetyl-l-carnitine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and prevent use.

Nerve pain (neuropathy) brought on by chemotherapy: acetyl-l-carnitine may aggravate signs in some people with nerve pain caused by a class of chemotherapy drugs called taxanes.

Under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism): there is some issue that acetyl-l-carnitine may disrupt thyroid hormonal agent. Do not use acetyl-l-carnitine if you have an under-active thyroid.

Seizures: an increase in the number or severity of seizures has been reported in individuals with a history of seizures who have actually used l-carnitine by mouth or by iv (intravenously). Since l-carnitine is related to acetyl-l-carnitine, there is an issue that this might likewise accompany acetyl-l-carnitine. If you have ever had a seizure, don’t take acetyl-l-carnitine. (15 ).


l-carnitine supplementation supplies a modest lowering impact on body weight, bmi and fat mass, particularly amongst adults with overweight/obesity. (16 ).


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  2. Https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1026/l-carnitine
  3. Https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-5405-9_175
  4. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/carnitine
  5. Https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/carnitine-shuttle
  6. Https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/db00583
  7. Https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/l-carnitine#types
  8. Https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/l-carnitine#food-
  9. Https://www.medartsweightloss.com/blog/5-benefits-of-l-carnitine-weight-loss-supplement
  10. Https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/carnitine-l-carnitine
  11. Https://www.integrativepro.com/articles/l-carnitine-and-womens-health
  12. Https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/l-carnitine#drug-side-effects
  13. Https://www.drugs.com/npp/l-carnitine.html
  14. Https://www.stlukes-stl.com/health-content/medicine/33/000946.htm
  15. Https://www.emedicinehealth.com/acetyl-l-carnitine/vitamins-supplements.htm#specialprecautionswarnings
  16. Https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32359762/
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