A Feel 21, Inc. Health Report
If someone were to tell you that one substance can help increase energy, achieve peak sports performance and burn fat, increase mental clarity and brain health, and lower your cholesterol and triglycerides, you may think, "yeah, right. And you have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell, too, right? "
But, L-Carnitine can indeed help you achieve all those benefits when you add it to your daily dietary supplement program in addition, of course, to a healthy diet and exercise.
Vegetarians should take note that this nutrient is found in flesh products - red meat, chicken, turkey. Avocados and tempeh contain minute amounts, otherwise, L-Carnitine is basically non-existent in fruits and vegetables.
According to James Balch, MD and Phyllis Balch, CNC, authors of Prescription for Nutritional Healing A-Z Guide to Supplements, the human body manufactures carnitine from sufficient amounts of thiamine (vitamin B-1), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and the amino acids methionine and lysine. This synthesis, however, also depends upon sufficient amounts of vitamin C. "Inadequate intake of any of these nutrients can result in a carnitine deficiency, " they warn.
Robert Crayhon, in his book, The Carnitine Miracle, explains
the crucial relationship that carnitine has with mitochondria, known as
the energy furnace of the cell. Mitochondria are basically responsible
for turning food into energy. "As we age, our mitochondria make less energy.
Cells with more fatigued mitochondria age more quickly. Liven up your
mitochondria with the right nutrients, however, and you will slow the
aging process. In other words, the more energized your cells, the longer
your life and the more freedom from disease you will have. "
He asserts that the most important substance mitochondria need for help in increasing energy is L-Carnitine.
The Balches write that, "Carnitine's main function in the body is to help transport long-chain fatty acids, which are burned within the cells to provide energy. This is a major source of energy for the muscles. Carnitine thus increases the use of fat as an energy source. "
Energy for Sports Performance
Fat, says Crayhon, is the most abundant energy source in the body. The goal then would be to optimize the ability for the body to utilize its fuel most effectively. By ensuring energy flow and sustenance, one's ability to work out or compete in any sports endeavor will thus be elevated.
This is where L-Carnitine fits in, notably in endurance exercise and sports. "One of the most frequent comments I hear from my clients is that they have much better athletic endurance when they take carnitine regularly, " he writes. "This is particularly true for those who only exercise once or twice a week. Research corroborates this, showing that carnitine can stimulate the efficient use of fat as fuel in non-trained athletes to give them that 'trained-like' state of greater endurance. "
One study of trained runners showed that two grams of carnitine daily increased their peak running speed by 5.7 percent. Another study of 110 athletes also showed significant increases in endurance. Studies demonstrating stamina increases used carnitine dosages ranging between one and four grams daily. Crayhon stresses that individuals must not fall short of carnitine doses, otherwise no benefit will be had. "Little or no effect will be seen with a dose of 250 mg of carnitine, " he writes.
Good for the Heart
Cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, in his booklet, L-Carnitine and the Heart, a Keats Good Health guide co-written with Jan Sinatra, RN, believes that L-Carnitine in concert with coenzyme Q-10 (another natural cellular energizer) creates a dynamic duo for healthy heart function�and even repair of heart function following a cardiovascular incident.
"The heart is so metabolically active that it requires a constant supply of ATP [adenosine triphosphate], the body's main energy source. Cardiac muscle cells burn fats for fuel. But the heart demands such a constant and high level of energy resources to pump? to 100 times a minute, 24 hours a day for years and years�that it's especially vulnerable to even subtle deficiencies in the factors contributing to ATP production: coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine. "
The Sinatras go on to write that research has shown that tissue deficiencies of these nutrients are evident in people with heart disease. Dr. Sinatra's clinical experiences with coQ10 and L-Carnitine support the scientific literature, he writes, in such examples as: angina pectoris (heart/chest pain), congestive heart failure, toxin-induced cardiotoxicity (a common side effect of the drug Adriamycin), high cholesterol and lipid disorders, peripheral claudication (leg cramps) and ventricular arrhythmia.
There are an anbudant number of L-Carnitine supplements, both as stand-alones and as part of a targeted formula. VR
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This article is reprinted with permission from Vitamin Retailer magazine and is provided for educational purposes only by your local retailer. No part of this article is intended as medical advice. Always consult your health care provider for any medical problems.