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L-carnitine is a form of amino acid that is produced naturally in the body or can also be obtained from certain foods and supplements. L-carnitine has various benefits for the body. However, you need to know the safe dosage for consumption so as not to cause adverse side effects
L-carnitine has an important role in producing energy, namely by carrying fatty acids into the mitochondria in your body's cells. Mitochondria then act as fat-burning machines to create energy that the body can use for activities.In addition, L-carnitine is also useful in many processes in the body, such as heart and brain function, and muscle movement.
Types of L-carnitine
L-carnitine is the active form of carnitine. You can buy these nutrients freely as a dietary supplement. There are many other forms of L-carnitine and each has a different function. The following are some types in general:
1. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR)
This type of carnitine is effective for brain function and can be used to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. According to research, this supplement is also useful for reducing symptoms of depression.
2. L-carnitine L-tartrate
It is a form of carnitine that is often found in sports supplements, because of its faster absorption rate. This form of carnitine is effective for increasing energy, dealing with muscle soreness, and restoring energy after exercise.
A type of carnitine that is effective for increasing blood flow so that it can be used to treat problems of peripheral artery disease and high blood pressure.
It is the inactive form of carnitine. It is recommended that you avoid taking the D-carnitine form, because this type can inhibit the absorption of the active form of carnitine that is useful for the body.
Benefits of Taking L-Carnitine
Taking L-Carnitine supplements has various he alth benefits, here are some of them:
1. Protect brain function
L-carnitine has many benefits for brain function. Research says, consuming acetyl-L-carnitine every day can help treat various diseases associated with decreased brain function, such as Alzheimer's. In addition, this supplement is also said to protect the brain from cell damage.
2. Replacing low levels of L-carnitine
People with L-carnitine levels that are too low, for example due to having a genetic disorder, taking certain medications, or undergoing dialysis, can take L-carnitine supplements. For those undergoing dialysis, this supplement can also provide more benefits because it can increase the number of red blood cells.
3. Help treat heart he alth problems
L-carnitine is useful for people with medical conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, or peripheral artery disease. Regular consumption of L-carnitine is known to reduce the risk of complications and death from heart disease.
4. Improve sports performance
Many athletes take L-carnitine supplements, because this supplement can improve performance during exercise if taken regularly.Some of the benefits include increasing oxygen supply to muscles, increasing blood flow, helping reduce fatigue, and reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
5. Treating infertility problems
Several studies have revealed that taking L-carnitine supplements regularly can improve sperm quality, increase sperm count, and maximize sperm motility, so it is especially beneficial for men with fertility problems.
6. Reducing diabetes symptoms
L-carnitine can reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the risk of complications that follow. Research shows that taking L-carnitine supplements can reduce blood sugar levels and can increase levels of the AMPK enzyme which can increase the body's ability to use carbohydrates.
Safe Doses of Taking L-Carnitine Supplements
Like most natural supplements, L-carnitine is quite safe when taken wisely and as directed. A safe dose is 500–2000 mg per day. However, the dose of L-carnitine can vary, depending on the type. Here are the details:
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 600–2500 mg per day.
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: 1,000–4,000 mg per day.
- Propionyl-L-Carnitine: 400–1,000 mg per day.
Although long-term consumption of L-carnitine is relatively safe, there are still possible side effects such as allergies, headaches, nausea and vomiting, increased blood pressure, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and body odor.
Rare side effects include muscle weakness in people with uremia and seizures in people with epilepsy. In addition, L-carnitine supplements may interact with certain medications.
So, it might be better if you try to meet your L-carnitine needs from food first. These nutrients can be obtained from several types of food, such as beef, fish, chicken, and milk. According to research, L-carnitine from food can be absorbed better by the body than L-carnitine in supplement form.
If you are taking L-carnitine supplements, it is recommended that you consult a doctor, especially if you have certain he alth conditions, take regular medications, or if there are side effects after taking them.