About the nutrient
Carnitine is a non-essential, water-soluble amino acid. One of the roles of carnitine in the body is its contribution to the mitochondrial oxidation of long-chain fatty acids obtained from the diet. Most of the body's carnitine supply is stored in muscle tissue, including the heart muscle. Normal seminal fluid also contains carnitine.
Why do we need to supplement?
Carnitine is non-essential, meaning the body can produce some by itself, via the amino acid lysine. Our production of this amino acid (and therefore our total levels) drop with increasing age.
Carnitine is found in some dietary sources such as red meat and limited quantities in plant protein. It is for this reason that vegetarians (and vegans) often have much lower levels of this amino acid.
How does it work in the body?
L-carnitine’s main mode of action is supporting the transfer of fat (derived from our diet) into the mitochondria of the cell, where they are metabolised.
The mitochondria is a part of the cell often referred to as the ‘powerhouse’. Mitochondria (with the help of various nutrients including coenzyme Q10 and l-carnitine) are able to convert the broken-down elements of our food, such as glucose, into energy. L-carnitine operates by being part of the substances carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 & 2, enzymes that act as a shuttle for ‘fatty acids’, a simple unit of fat which all dietary fats convert to after digestion. L-carnitine allows these fatty acids to be delivered into the mitochondria (after being converted to Acyl Co-A), where they can be metabolised via the process of B-oxidation, converting the fat into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the body’s unit of energy.
Benefits in Research
Reduction in body fat and fatigue
Studies have shown promise in L-carnitine’s ability to support the reduction of body fat. In one randomized control-trial comparing an L-carnitine supplementation group of patients with a group taking placebos, the treatment group experienced a significant reduction in body fat compared to placebo (-3.1kg vs -0.5kg) 1 .
The main mechanism proposed for this is that L-carnitine supports the use of fat as an energy source, including stored body fat.
Dietary fats are more energy dense than carbohydrates or proteins, with 9 kcals per gram versus 4 kcals per gram. As L-carnitine grants greater access to this rich source of energy, it’s theorized that L-carnitine would support athletic performance. Various studies have shown that supplementation with L-carnitine can offer a range of benefits which would support athletic activity, including improved stamina, better oxygenation of muscles and decreased recovery times between exertion 2,3.
Bio-Carnitine utilizes the L-tartrate form of carnitine, considered to be the superior carnitine form for athletic performance.
In various trials, carnitine supplementation has been shown to be an effective method of improving sperm quality, especially morphology (or shape). The proposed reason for this benefit is that carnitine effectively shuttles fatty acids into the mitochondria of the sperm cells, providing them with cellular energy, but is also shown to protect the cells and DNA from oxidative stress 4.
Some research shows that L-carnitine supplementation can support cognition and general mental processes, including memory and learning 5.
The carnitine in Bio-Carnitine is produced by means of a unique manufacturing technique based on fermentation. This method that carries the 'Carnipure' quality stamp makes it possible to produce L-carnitine exactly like it is done in nature. The result is pure, nature-identical L-carnitine L-Tartrate without residues of D-carnitine.
What is Carnipure?
Carnipure® is L-carnitine in an exceptionally pure form, manufactured to the highest standards of production quality and traceability of raw materials. This means that all batches of Carnipure can be traced directly back to their origin from the unprocessed raw materials to the finished extract. It is a guarantee of a high quality product with standardized efficiency, purity and quality in each capsule.
1. Pistone G, Marino A, Leotta C, Dell???Arte S, Finocchiaro G, Malaguarnera M. Levocarnitine Administration in Elderly Subjects with Rapid Muscle Fatigue. Drugs & Aging. 2003;20(10):761-767.
2. KRAEMER W, VOLEK J, FRENCH D, RUBIN M, SHARMAN M, GOMEZ A et al. The Effects of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation on Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise and Recovery. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2003;17(3):455-462.
3. Spiering B, Kraemer W, Hatfield D, Vingren J, Fragala M, Ho J et al. Effects of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation on Muscle Oxygenation Responses to Resistance Exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2008;22(4):1130-1135.
4. Lenzi A, Lombardo F, Sgrò P, Salacone P, Caponecchia L, Dondero F et al. Use of carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility: a double-blind crossover trial. Fertility and Sterility. 2003;79(2):292-300.
5. Malaguarnera M, Gargante M, Cristaldi E, Colonna V, Messano M, Koverech A et al. Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) treatment in elderly patients with fatigue. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2008;46(2):181-190.