The Benefits of L-Carnitine for Fat Metabolism, Muscles, and More

by Melissa Chichester

Have you ever wondered how your body turns fat into energy? 

Fat is the most abundant source of energy in the body and provides more than two times the amount of energy per gram compared to carbohydrates or protein. L-carnitine is an important compound found in every cell of your body that assists in fat metabolism.* However, that’s not all it can do! 

As a conditionally essential nutrient, carnitine plays an important role in supporting energy production.* And if you’re already familiar with carnitine, you may have heard of it from the bodybuilding or weight-lifting community. This is because most of the carnitine in your body is stored in your muscles. 

The discovery of l-carnitine 

Carnitine has an interesting origin story. In 1905, V. S. Gulewitsch and G. R. Krimberg discovered carnitine in Liebig’s Meat Extract, a popular dietary supplement. Originally, Liebig’s Meat Extract was created to provide an affordable and nutritious meat substitute for people. It wasn’t until 1927 that the correct structure of carnitine was determined. 

L-carnitine benefits 

Whether you’re a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or someone trying to stay healthy, carnitine is beneficial. It is found throughout the body, including in the heart, muscles, liver, and kidneys. 

It helps the body use cellular energy stores to power muscular contractions, providing support for endurance exercise and during recovery from high-intensity exercise.*

Furthermore, carnitine plays an essential role in making fatty acids available for muscle tissue.*

About 95% of the body’s carnitine is located in skeletal and cardiac muscle, so it may not be a surprise that carnitine supports heart health.* It also supports natural antioxidant levels in the body.* 

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Foods that contain l-carnitine 

Carnitine can be made in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids. It can also be found in foods. The best food sources of carnitine are meats, fish, and poultry. Beef is the best source of carnitine.

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, “the redder the meat, the higher its carnitine content.” 

Vegetarians and vegans may be more at risk of carnitine deficiency. However, some plant-based foods contain small amounts of carnitine, such as asparagus, almonds, walnuts, avocado, and wheat germ. The typical US diet supplies approximately 100 mg of carnitine per day. 

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Different types of l-carnitine 

L-carnitine is the most popular and well-known type of carnitine available in supplements. Other forms include: 

L-carnitine supplements

L-carnitine is available as a  standalone supplement or in combination with other nutrients.

Myoleptin™ CLA Extreme is a special formula that combines Myoleptin™ CLA with caffeine, guarana, green tea, l-carnitine, and hoodia gordonii. Myoleptin™ CLA is a form of conjugated linoleic acid produced from safflower oil. It is used for metabolism support, cellular energy production, and weight management goals.*

Another supplement that contains carnitine is Ultra Man™ Max, a multivitamin specifically designed to support a man’s most important health benefit areas including the immune system, nervous system health, heart health, bone health, and more.*

This formula contains a synergistic blend of the most important nutrients for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and carnitine.* These essential nutrients support energy metabolism and production by helping your body convert food to cellular energy.*

Carnitine can be a useful addition to your routine, especially if you want to support fat metabolism and heart health.* Always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.