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What You Need to Known About L-Carnitine
Carnitine is a nutrient that is often marketed as a â€śfat burnerâ€ť as well as a â€śperformance enhancerâ€ť (in regards to physical activity). Carnitine is formed from the amino acids lysine and methionine and plays a critical role in energy production. From the sounds of it, carnitine sounds like a miracle pill for some people. Let's take a closer look....
Digging Deeper: Whatâ€™s the Difference Between Carnitine, L-Carnitine & Acetly-L-Carnitine?
Carnitine was first discovered in muscle tissue and was labeled vitamin Bt. Carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so that they can be used to produce energy. It also transports toxic compounds generated out of the mitochondria to prevent any accumulation. Given these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel. Carnitine is the generic term for a number of compounds that include L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine. The most popular form on the market is Acetyl-L-Carnitine â€“ the derivative of L-carnitine.
Metabolism of L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine occurs naturally in the body, in total about 20-25 grams. Organs and cells with a high energy requirement such as the heart, muscles, immune cells, brain, nerves and sperm contain the highest levels of L-Carnitine and cannot function properly without an adequate supply.
Our body is able to produce small quantities of L-Carnitine, if precursors (lysine and methionine) and cofactors (vitamins C, B3, B6 and iron) are readily available. An inadequate supply of any of these nutrients restricts the body`s ability to produce L-Carnitine.
Sources of Carnitine
Animal products like meat, fish, poultry, and milk are the best sources. In general, the redder the meat, the higher its carnitine content. Dairy products contain carnitine primarily in the whey fraction. However, if youâ€™re constantly eating red meats and whole milk â€“ thatâ€™s obviously not healthy for your body.