Carnitine

Sources
Not an essential amino acid, the main source of carnitine is meat (L carnalis, meat), but the body can manufacture all it needs, provided it has at its disposal enough lysine, vitamins B1 (thyamine) and B6 (pyridoxine) and iron. Vegetarians may readily suffer from a deficiency because of low lysine diets, and the same may be said about people with diseases of the brain, kidneys and liver.

Uses

  • Benefits congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy
  • Controls fat metabolism and weight loss
  • Decreases high blood pressure and risk of heart disease
  • Improves lower limb movement (intermittent claudication)
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides and controls arteriosclerosis
  • Reduces angina pains

Interactions
Antiseizure drugs such as carbamazepine, phenobarbitol, phenotoin and valproic acid, deplete the organism's carnitine, and one may need supplementation when taking these drugs.

Safety
Do not use D-carnitine or DL-Carnitine supplements, as they appear to interfere with L-carnitine and cause chest pains.