Wellness Wednesday. L-carnitine
L-Carnitine is the amino acid that everyone is talking about. This conditionally essential amino acid plays a key role in energy production in our cells powerhouse- the mitochondria. It is found in small amounts in seafood, meat, chicken, nuts , seeds and some vegetables including asparagus. Our body can also synthesize carnitine, but we need a good amount of Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 and B6 for this process to occur. It is also available in supplemental form and is a key ingredient in our IV Nourish lounge Sports Performance and Slim/Detox IV drip. L-Carnitine is the active form of this amino acid.
What are the benefits of L-Carnitine?
Boosts athletic performance: Some athletes take carnitine to improve performance. Supplementing diet with L-carnitine increases maximum aerobic power. It promotes glycogen sparing during prolonged exercise. There is also research that supports the use of this amino acid before exercise to prolong exhaustion (1)
Can assist with weight loss: L-Carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be used or burned to produce energy. A study published in the Journal of Physiology showed that increasing the amount of L-carnitine in the muscles helped prevent fat gain by increasing fat burning and energy expenditure during physical activity (2). At Nuriss we do recommend combining the use of L-carnitine with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Anti ageing: A decline in mitochondrial function is thought to contribute to the aging process. L-carnitine concentration in tissues declines with age thereby reducing the integrity of the mitochondrial membrane. There have been studies performed with aged rats supplemented with L-carnitine. The rats supplemented with this amino acid demonstrated restored mitochondrial function. They also appeared to move about more and to perform better at memory-requiring tasks (3).
Fertility support: The L-carnitine content of seminal fluid is directly related to sperm count and motility suggesting that the compound might be of value in treating male infertility. Several studies indicate that L-carnitine supplementation (2–3 grams/day for 3–4 months) may improve sperm quality (4)