L-Carnitine: An Unnecessary Ergogenic Aid

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L-Carnitine: An Unnecessary Ergogenic Aid


L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid which plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat. It functions as a transporter of fatty acids into the mitochondria, the metabolic furnace of the cell.

L-carnitine was discovered in Russia, and one year later in Germany. The proper name, Carnitine, refers to the Latin origin, (carno, caris). Its structural formula was decoded in 1927, and its physiological significance was understood by the 1960's. ( L-carnitine is synthesized in the liver and kidneys, from two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. This synthesis requires the presence of vitamins niacin, B6, and iron. Most (98%) of the carnitine supply resides in the body's muscle tissue. Approximately 80% of the amino acids our bodies need is endogenously synthesized, the remaining 20% are referred to as the essential amino acids. The supply of such aminos, like l-carnitine, must be supplemented exogenously. L-carnitine is available in the following food sources: red meat, diary products, avocado, and tempeh. Although a well balanced diet can provide approximately 75% of what the body is lacking, often conditions arise that make it difficult to obtain all the carnitine one needs.

It has been established that an adequate supply of l-carnitine is necessary for the maintenance of good health. L-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be metabolized. L-carnitine aids in the release of stored body fat, tryglycerides, into the bloodstream for energy. Tryglycerides are the major source for the production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles. Access to l-carnitine ...

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