12 reasons to take carnitine
Suggest to you the simplest way to increase the energy reserves of the body and get rid of extra pounds? This is a method of carnitine in combination with fish oil, a source of irreplaceable omega-3 acids. Carnitine is a powerful nutrient; lifting the content of carnitine in the muscle tissue, you are taking a decisive step towards a sharp increase in the quality of your life. Carnitine stimulates the oxidation of fatty acids, provides a burst of vitality and energy, protects against disease, struggles with depression and improves mood. In addition, studies have shown that the use of drugs carnitine contributes:
- Increased tolerance to severe physical exertion
More recently, the Journal of Physiology published a breakthrough study in which the positive effect of carnitine on the functional training of athletes was proved. For years, scientists have unsuccessfully fought over this issue, and, finally, we have received a scientific justification of the nutritional benefits. Revolutionary research in combination with the emergence of new knowledge about the optimal methods of carnitine intake (transportation of carnitine to muscle cells is possible only in the presence of insulin) leave us no choice – we simply have to return to a detailed analysis of the beneficial properties of this amino acid! Let's see what health benefits our increase in carnitine content promises, and we will give maximum attention to its effect on the composition of the tissues of the body.
1. Role of carnitine in fat burning: general information
Carnitine is an amino acid derivative consisting of lysine and methionine. Note that there are many different forms of carnitine, for example, acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine tartrate, and we will certainly talk about how to take the nutrient in certain cases. And we will agree on the shore that in this article, unless otherwise specified, the term "carnitine" will refer to L-carnitine tartrate.
Carnitine is a powerful fat burner, because it is carnitine that transports fatty acids through the cell membranes and throws them in the energy exchange furnace. Increasing the content of carnitine in the muscle tissue, you include all mechanisms of fat oxidation at full capacity, and as the body is able to effectively manage the fuel available at its disposal, you are guaranteed a rapid replenishment of energy reserves. In addition, the increase in the concentration of carnitine increases physical performance by increasing the amount of fissile fat and simultaneously saves glycogen, reduces accumulation in the muscles of lactic acid and potentiates the anabolic hormonal response.
Carnitine will be effective only if the body has a sufficient number of essential fatty acids of the omega-3 class. To carnitine, which you take in the form of food additives, got to the address and "loaded" the muscle tissue, you need insulin.
That's why we introduced omega-3 fatty acids into our equation. They affect the condition of all cells in the human body, of course, provided that you receive them in sufficient quantities. As you know, cell membranes consist of two lipid layers, in which both useful and harmful fats can be present (this depends on the characteristics of your diet). The more of the omega-3 fatty acid cell membranes, the better the functional state of the signaling cellular systems, and, most importantly, the omega-3 acids increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin! Increasing the sensitivity of tissues to insulin will allow your body to maximize the energy potential of carnitine.
Why am I so detailed about the relationship between omega-3 acids and carnitine? Because taking carnitine will not bring the desired result, if you do not pay proper attention to the omega-3. Working with obese clients, I came to the conclusion that the use of high dosages of fish oil and carnitine allows us to give a starting pulse to the burning of fats.
Due to the activation of intracellular processes, omega-3 increases the intensity of basal metabolism and stimulates the breakdown of fats, and carnitine takes on the role of a transport system for long-chain fatty acids. The lower the carnitine content in the body, the less fatty acids get inside the cells, which means that they are not available for energy exchange needs. Instead of generating energy, fats are sent to storage and stored in adipose tissue. By raising the level of carnitine, you stimulate the oxidation of fats and give the cells the mechanisms provided by genetics to increase the intensity of metabolic processes. In the end, you will feel energetic and more motivated, and all excess fats will begin to leave the body.
3. We can do without carbohydrates: enough carnitine and omega-3
In the fifth paragraph of the article, I will tell you in detail about the results of the study published in the Journal of Physiology, but for now, let us dwell on one feature concerning the use of carnitine. In that scientific work, the carnitine and muscle function indicators were used to combine carnitine and carbohydrates, but other studies have shown that with adequate intake of omega-3, the need for carbohydrates is eliminated. The Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism announces the high effectiveness of carnitine in combination with omega-3 and polyphenols. This combination reduces the level of lipids in the blood and stimulates intracellular generation of energy. If the study was long (unfortunately, it lasted only 12 weeks), these changes in fat metabolism would lead to a noticeable decrease in body weight.
The researchers found that the triglyceride content decreased by 24%, and the fatty acids decreased by 29% compared to the placebo group, in which no changes were recorded. Such a dynamics indicates the normalization of cholesterol indicators, an increase in the efficiency of energy metabolism and the acceleration of the breakdown of fats, and all this inevitably leads to weight loss. In addition, activation of genes that induce fat burning has occurred, which is a sign of improvement in the metabolic profile. Note that polyphenols have been included to increase the level of antioxidants and prevent oxidative stress, which leads to chronic inflammatory processes and adversely affects the health of the heart and blood vessels. The effectiveness of carnitine polyphenols does not affect.
4. Carnitine against visceral gurney
Get rid of visceral, or abdominal fat is extremely difficult – it is worth it you dial, how it firmly takes root and causes numerous health problems. Accumulation of visceral fat in the abdominal region is accompanied by the deposition of lipids in the internal organs, in particular, in the liver, in the heart and even in the muscle tissue. The deposition of fats in the hepatocytes leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and epicardial fat (the type of visceral fat that accumulates around the heart) is considered a metabolically active organ that interferes with the normal functioning of the heart.
Raising the level of carnitine, you block the accumulation of visceral fat by stimulating the oxidation of fats and removing from the systemic blood stream triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins, thereby preventing hypercholesterolemia and aggregation of harmful lipids responsible for the development of atherosclerosis. This is clearly demonstrated by the latest research published in the publication "Food and Chemical Toxicology." Scientists gave carnitine to mice fed high-fat foods to cause weight gain. Compared to a group of mice receiving a placebo, the carnitine group scored significantly less visceral and subcutaneous fat (the fat that is directly under the skin, you can feel it with your fingers). In the placebo group, the initial stages of non-alcoholic dystrophy of the liver and atherosclerosis of the vessels were found, which was not observed in the carnitine group.
5. Carnitine and growth of capacity for work
The study of the Journal of Physiology first showed that intramuscular carnitine can be raised with the help of a diet. After increasing the level of carnitine, the rates of metabolic processes depend only on the intensity of physical exertion, which creates favorable conditions for the effective use of energy and improving efficiency.
Scientists gave a placebo or a combination of carnitine tartrate + carbohydrates (2 gram carnitine + 80 gram carbohydrates 2 times a day) to experienced athletes who were preparing for a triathlon from 3 to 5 once a week. In the different phases of the study, the subjects underwent the following physical tests: 2 of thirty-minute repetitive exercise cycles (the first with 50% of maximum oxygen consumption and the second at 80%), followed by an 30-minute test with full impact.
Through 24 weeks in the carnitine group, in comparison with the baseline, an 11% increase in athletic performance was recorded in the test exercises, while there was no such dynamics in the placebo group. Participants who took carnitine also noted that all tests and exercises at 80% of the maximum they tolerate more easily than at the beginning of the study. In the placebo group, there was no change in the individual perception of the load.
To draw a conclusion about the positive effect of taking carnitine on the growth of physical performance, we should pay attention to two key points of this study. First, to increase the content of carnitine in the muscles and increase energy production requires a long reception of the drug. In this experiment, after three months there were no changes in performance or individual perception of the load in comparison with the initial indices, but already in 6 months the changes were clearly expressed and statistically reliable. The quantity goes into quality somewhere between 3 and 6 month, and this means that taking carnitine should become part of the lifestyle, like taking omega-3 acids.
Secondly, for the accumulation, or "loading" of carnitine into the muscles, high concentrations of insulin are needed. This explains why many previous experiments did NOT lead to an increase in muscle carnitine, even when taking several grams of the nutrient. In this study, carnitine was taken with carbohydrates, because it is carbohydrates that stimulate the secretion of insulin, which contributes to the filling of muscles with carnitine. Note that the whole healthy world tends to reduce the carbohydrate-induced secretion of insulin, as it negatively affects the composition of body tissues. Of course, this fact can not be written off, but we must not forget that insulin plays the role of a powerful anabolic hormone, provided adequate secretion and sufficient sensitivity of cells to its action.
Combining carnitine with carbohydrates is a good option, but in the third paragraph of the article, we stressed your attention to the fact that carnitine can be combined with omega-3. This tandem is more suitable for people for whom weight loss is the main goal. From experience I know that the maximum decrease in body weight gives the ratio of omega-3 to carnitine, as 5: 1. If you take 20 grams of omega-3 acids, add an 4 gram of carnitine to them. But if you are more moderate with respect to omega-3, start with 1-2 grams of carnitine, and then raise the dose to the 4 grams used in the study.
6. Increased exercise tolerance
The growth of muscle carnitine leads to an increase in exercise tolerance. Note that the load will not be perceived by you as prohibitively heavy: you can easily raise more weight, perform more repetitions, run faster and longer. All due to a decrease in lactic acid production against a background of increased carnitine content in the muscles. Such changes contribute to the relief of pain, protects the muscles from damage and neutralizes the influence of metabolic stress accompanying high-intensity exercises.
In the presence of high concentrations of carnitine, energy generation is activated, and the efficiency of buffer systems that maintain a stable pH in muscles and prevent the accumulation of hydrogen ions increases. In fact, carnitine helps to eliminate byproducts of intensive training that provoke cell damage and cause pain (burning sensation that you feel during exhausting exercise), which allows you to work with even greater impact.
The results of the study of the Journal of Physiology show that the growth of muscle carnitine increases tolerance to loads due to a decrease in the accumulation of lactic acid. After a series of exercises performed at 80% of the maximum, the accumulation of lactate in the carnitine group was 44% lower than in the control group. After a series of exercises performed at 50% of the maximum, in the carnitine group, less muscle glycogen was consumed at 55% than in the control group, which indicates that fats are predominantly used as fuel and energy efficiency is improved.
Reducing the accumulation of lactate in combination with more effective fat oxidation in two series of exercises allowed representatives of the carnitine group to raise physical performance by 35% with a decrease in individual perception of the load. Simply put, taking carnitine is an elementary decision if you want to train even more intensively and strive to improve the composition of the body by increasing the burning of fats.
7. Accelerate recovery with carnitine
Taking carnitine to speed recovery, both in the short and long term, you will reduce muscle pain and feel more energetic. Accumulation of lactic acid in muscles is the limiting factor that limits performance and causes soreness, which means that you are recovering faster if your body does not synthesize lactic acid so actively and quickly removes it from muscle tissue.
The intake of carnitine potentiates the anabolic response to the training stimulus by increasing the activity of the androgen receptors, which "contributes to early recovery" according to data obtained by one research group. In two scientific works under the guidance of William J. Kremer, the hormonal response to carnitine was studied. In one of these studies, carnitine intake during 21 day resulted in an increase in the number of receptors to testosterone at rest, which indicates the formation of a favorable anabolic environment in the body. After strength training, the participants of the experiment also increased the number of receptors for androgens, which indicates an improvement in the response of cells to testosterone and an increase in protein synthesis. Increased protein synthesis accelerates regeneration and restoration of tissues damaged during strength training.
Participants in the second experiment also took carnitine and placebo for 21 days. As a result, in the carnitine group, intensive muscle training reduced muscle tissue damage (assessed with MRI) and increased the level of IGFBP-3 (protein binding insulin-like growth factor and activating tissue repair). Scientists have suggested that drugs of carnitine contribute to recovery by increasing the "share of intact tissue and the number of intact receptors that are capable of interacting with hormones."
8. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves brain activity and increases motivation
The carnitine form, called acetyl-L-carnitine, will provide you with excellent mental activity and increase motivation. It follows that the supplement will be an excellent tool for people who want to lose weight, but do not find the inner motivation for doing sports. Acetyl-L-carnitine helps to unlock the potential of DHA-omega-3 acid, which magically affects the functioning of the brain. Like carnitine tartrate, this form of carnitine should be taken along with omega-3 to induce the generation of energy in the brain.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is a powerful antioxidant and can remove from the brain tissue toxic salts of heavy metals. I recommend taking it in conjunction with alpha-lipoic acid and DHA, because this combination supports the secretion of dopamine, increases concentration and motivation. People suffering from depression, as well as anyone who wants to get rid of extra pounds, should take on the miraculous action of carnitine. It will help you to find internal stimuli and take the first step, start training and learn to overcome all the difficulties of the training process. Accepting acetyl-L-carnitine, you can also enjoy the tide of vitality, the growth of physical performance, increased tolerance to stress and acceleration of recovery – all the useful properties that contribute to the creation of a slender and attractive body.
Numerous studies confirm the efficacy of acetyl-L-carnitine in improving brain function. For example, in the latest study of the Nordic Journal of Gastroenterology, it has been found that the use of acetyl-L-carnitine by patients with impaired liver function greatly improves mental performance, improves health, raises mood and creates a positive attitude. They also reported a decrease in anxiety and depression.
9. Prevention of diabetes and improvement of insulin metabolism
Carnitine was the drug whose positive effect on fat metabolism can prevent the development of diabetes. Among the mechanisms of prevention of diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome, it is necessary to distinguish the prevention of vascular atherosclerosis, strengthen the cardiovascular system, as well as reduce body weight.
In addition, carnitine protects the body from diabetes-related pathogenic factors. Due to its antioxidant properties, the nutrient destroys free radicals and fights against oxidative stress. To take carnitine led to a real improvement in insulin metabolism and save you from extra pounds, you should remember about the need for interaction of key factors that must necessarily be present in the body:
A) Take carnitine with omega-3 fish oil acids. Remember the recommended ratio of 1: 5.
C) The intake of essential nutritional supplements should be an integral part of your lifestyle, not a temporary measure. Studies have shown that the androgen receptors are activated after three weeks, the triglyceride profile improves after three months, and the increase in carnitine in the muscles takes about 6 months.
C) High protein diet and training will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your efforts.
10. Carnitine against cachexia, or wasting syndrome
An increase in the concentration of carnitine may interfere with the development of cachexia, or the syndrome of exhaustion, which accompanies certain diseases, in particular, oncopathology, AIDS, heart and lung diseases. And although our readers rarely encounter such problems, we must mention this. The intake of carnitine contributes to the normalization of metabolic rates in individuals with cachexia and thereby helps to fight the progression of life-threatening diseases.
Cachexia is accompanied by progressive weight loss, loss of muscle mass, suppression of cognitive functions, impaired insulin metabolism, inflammation and impaired function of internal organs. Scientists have found that in the body of cancer patients with signs of cachexia, the level of carnitine is sharply lowered and metabolic processes are disrupted. The newest study of the Journal of Nutrition showed that taking carnitine by cachexia sufferers with men with pancreatic cancer increases dry body weight, stimulates energy metabolism and improves the quality of life. In the course of the study, there was a trend towards an increase in survival and a reduction in the duration of hospitalization with carnitine.
11. Carnitine increases the fertility of men
An adequate level of carnitine is necessary to maintain the reproductive function of the male body. In one study, it was found that prolific men possess a high level of carnitine and normal spermatogenesis. In contrast, in the body of infertile men, the carnitine content was reduced, which was reflected in the poor sperm counts. Scientists have suggested that maintaining an adequate level of carnitine in the body in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle can have a beneficial effect on reproductive function.
Cream for external use with carnitine can improve the condition of the skin by reducing the amount of fat released by the sebaceous glands. Recently, in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, a study was published in which it was reported that a carnitine-based cream increases the amount of fat entering the cells and reduces the secretion of sebum. This reduces the fat content of the skin and improves its appearance. Also, scientists noted the importance of the nutrient for the transport of lipids through cell membranes and the subsequent splitting of fatty acids, since beta-oxidation of fats, or their burning, was enhanced in the presence of carnitine.
Many thanks for the article, one of the most informative on L-carnitine, there were many questions. The only thing. When you take carnitine, the body smell increases. The manifestations of a permanent disease of trimethylaminuria also do not seem to be similar, because it is only intensified when taking L-carnitine (I always take it before physical activity), maybe just because without 3-omega or carbohydrates?
To support the cardiovascular system. Good in combination with a magnesium chelate.
and you can take carnitine and not play sports? but just walk, for example. walk for 1.5-2 hours?
If you walk in aerobic mode, it will be just as effective.
so as not to strain in the sports hall))) and the question, I run 9 km, for how much do you need to take carnitine before running? and how much does it work in the body? or is it delayed?