Although our bodies make carnitine they often don’t produce enough Find out how supplements can fill in the gaps for better health and energy
THE BASICS: L-carnitine is a constituent of protein synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Your body’s cells need
it to help burn fat for energy.
L-carnitine is the foundation of a family of related compounds, including acetyl-L-carnitine, propionyl-L-carnitine, L-carnitine L-tartrate, and others.
HOW CARNITINE WORKS:
Carnitine is considered a “conditionally essential” nutrient—although our bodies can make it, they often don’t produce enough. Carnitine shuttles fats from the watery outer region of cells into mitochondria, where both fats and glucose are broken down to make ATP, the chemical form of energy in the body. Acetyl-L-carnitine can enter the brain, and the acetyl group helps form acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Anti-Aging. Two studies have found that seniors who were given 2 grams of carnitine daily had increases in mental and physical energy, with less fatigue, muscle pain, and sleep problems. Several animal studies and one human study found that a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid reversed many of the signs of aging and restored both physical and mental vigor.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Doctors at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago used either 3 grams of carnitine or drugs to treat 28 people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Carnitine led to improvements in 18 markers of CFS severity and significant improvements in 12 of the markers. The drug had no benefits. Tip: Consider combining carnitine with alpha-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 because all three nutrients play important roles in energy production.
Fibromyalgia. Acetyl-L-carnitine may be of particular benefit to people with fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by musculoskeletal pain. Italian doctors gave patients acetyl-L-carnitine orally (1,000—1,500 mg) daily over a period of 10 weeks, along with a single injection (500 mg). Subjects who received the treatment benefited from significant reductions in pain, compared with patients who were given placebos.
Chemotherapy. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation cause extreme fatigue, but L-carnitine may boost energy levels in cancer patients. Doctors gave 2 grams of L-carnitine three times daily to women undergoing treatments for cancer—including breast, ovary, uterus, and stomach cancers. After four weeks, the women who received carnitine had reductions in fatigue, improved appetites, increased muscle mass, and better overall quality of life.
Multiple Sclerosis. People with multiple sclerosis (MS) often suffer from chronic fatigue. A study found that taking 2 grams daily of acetyl-L-carnitine led to significant improve- ments in energy levels over a period of three months.
L-carnitine L-tartrate enhances muscle recovery from strenuous exercise, and propionyl-L-carnitine may be helpful in intermittent claudication, a condition characterized by poor blood flow to the legs.
WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE:
For physical fatigue, take 2—3 grams of carnitine daily, with a high-protein meal. (You can divide the dose among breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) For mental fatigue or cognitive problems, try 1—2 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine daily.
This formula combines three nutrients involved in energy production: KanekaQH ubiquinol, alpha-lipoic acid, and carnitine.
Each vegetarian capsule contains 1,000 mg of free form acetyl L-carnitine. There’s no gluten, dairy, or wheat in the supplement.
| Bricker Labs
This tasty raspberry flavored liquid offers 1,100 mg per serving of Carnipure, which is a proprietary form of L-carnitine.