L-Carnitine and Weight Loss
The primary function of carnitine in the body, is to regulate fat oxidation (burning). L-Carnitine is responsible for transporting fat to the fat furnace in our cells called mitochondria. Unless fat makes it to the mitochondria, it cannot be oxidized, no matter how much you exercise or diet.
Many studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of L-Carnitine for fat burning. Evidence, more so than not, has suggested that when used correctly, along with a balanced diet (adequate protein, essential fats, and fiber), it works. L-Carnitine however, is not the “silver bullet”; it is just another piece of the fat burning puzzle.
HOW YOUR BODY MAKES L-CARNITINE:
- The body can make small amounts of L-Carnitine.
- To do so, you need the amino acids: lysine and methionine and vitamins such as niacin, B6, and vitamin C.
- A shortage of any of these nutrients, can lower carnitine levels and reduce fat burning .
- Lysine has been shown to boost carnitine levels. Lysine is the amino acid precursor that builds the carnitine molecule.**
- Strict vegetarians get little or no carnitine.
**Nature’s Gold Level I- contains 7 essential amino acids* critical to providing cellular regeneration and repair.
**Nature’s Gold Level II – contains 7 essential amino acids* critical to providing cellular regeneration and repair.
SOURCES OF L-CARNITINE IN OUR DIETS:
- L-Carnitine is found predominately in meat and animal products.
- Red meat is the best source.
- Chicken and turkey also contain carnitine.
- Dairy and milk products contain small amounts.
- Most fruits, vegetables, and grains contain almost no carnitine. The exceptions are tempeh and avocados, which contain small amounts.
FACTORS THAT INHIBIT L-CARNITINE PRODUCTION
AND FAT BURNING:
- L-Carnitine works best with a diet low in sugars and starches (carbohydrates).
- Studies show that for carnitine to work effectively, carbohydrate intake should be kept below 50% of total calories consumed daily.
- Elevated insulin levels inhibit optimal carnitine activity (the burning of body fat and energy production).
- Omega 3 fats (flaxseed and fish oils) improve carnitine activity and function in the body.**
- Adequate protein at each meal is essential for carnitine activity and fat burning.
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L-CARNITINE AND FAT BURNING:
- L-Carnitine assists in the transport of long-chained fatty acids that are burned for energy.
- L-Carnitine enhances the consumption of fat as a source of fuel.
- L-Carnitine has been shown to increase the amount of fat you burn during both anaerobic (strength training) and aerobic (cardiovascular) workouts.
- L-Carnitine plays an important role in mobilizing fatty deposits found in tissues of overweight individuals.
- L-Carnitine helps remove fats waste products (ketones) from the blood stream.
- Effective carnitine activity helps to discourage fatty build up in the liver, heart, and skeletal muscle.
- L-Carnitine has been shown to improve lean muscle strength. Maintaining muscle tissue takes four to five times more calories than maintaining fat tissue, which is important for permanent weight loss.
- L-Carnitine helps to stabilize blood sugar and eliminate cravings for carbohydrates.
SUPPLEMENTING L-CARNITINE CORRECTLY:
- First, you need to start taking at least 1000 mg per day of L-Carnitine to promote weight loss. Obese individuals may start with 2000 mg per day.
- Those with metabolic resistance, start to do well on 3000-5000 mg per day.
- Research has shown, that when you start to feel more energy, it is a sign that the level of carnitine, you are using, is starting to burn body fat.
- Increase carnitine by 500 mg per day (one capsule) until you begin to feel this increased energy level in you daily lifestyle.
- Your energy level will be your guide as to how effective carnitine is working in your body.
- The Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) lists no toxic effects from prolonged use of L-Carnitine.
- It is best taken before breakfast and lunch.
The best research on Carnitine can be found in the book :
The Carnitine Miracle, by Robert Crayhon, M.S. ISBN: 0-87131-825-3
Turning up your metabolism with the right nutrients is essential for weight loss. There is significant evidence that increased levels of carnitine in tissue leads to increased fat burning. Obesity is not a drug deficiency. Administering certain synthetic medications or nutrients can stimulate thermogenic activity, but supplying your body with the essential nutrients is all that it needs to activate correct fat metabolism, rather than a caloric restriction or brain chemistry manipulation. Nutrients won’t do everything. You need a diet that is lower in carbohydrates, contains adequate proteins, essential fats, plenty of fiber, and a routine physical exercise program.
Do you need help? Just ask, as a Chartered Herbalist, I specialize in helping people achieve their overall wellness goals. I can help put you on the road to achieving good health and a sense of well-being. I’m here to answer any questions and help you choose the best products.
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