Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am a lousy editor.
This is not medical advice, I am writing this for educational purposes. If you are ill please seek the aid of a qualified and experienced functional medicine practictioner.
There are two forms sold by supplement manufacturers. L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine. The L in front means it is bioavailable to the body, in other words the body can readily use it. Acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine do act differently in the body. Many get them mixed up and I will see websites describing the effects of carnitine when it is actual acetyl-L-carnitine effects they are describing. The body has to convert carnitine to acetyl-L-carnitine first so the effects are different. I am going to only discuss the effects of carnitine. I may describe the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine later in this article.
Carnitine increases far burning, and endurance. Carnitine also enhances muscle performance and brain function. Supplementing with D-carintine is not good because it can block the effects of the other canitines L-carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine. Carnitine also prevents muscle damage. Carnitine improves insulin sensitivity and improves glucose metabolism. Carnitine prevents aciduria which often times occurs in chronic illness. Carnitine prevents neurological and brain injury and improves their function. Canritine helps to prevent systemic inflammation.
Carnitine prevents the production of trimethylamine N-oxide, it has been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is what causes fish smell disease where the urine and body odor has a fish like smell. Carnitine is also cardioprotective because it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Up to 80% of heart failure has been linked to carnitine deficiency.
If carnitine levels are low from liver inflammation , chronic illness, or nutrient deficiency the body will switch from using fats for energy and use glucose for energy. This can cause high lactic acid levels and chronic fatigue. This can cause fat build up throughout the body causing damage to the organs and obesity.
Carnitine prevents excess oxidative stress and prevents DNA damage. Carnitine helps protect the liver and kidney from damage. Carnitine down regulates the markers that cause sepsis and chronic illness. Carnitine increase fertility in males and females. Carnitine deficiency causes fatty liver disease.
Carnitine improves mitochondrial function and improves the mitochondrias ability to remove toxins. Carnitine has been shown to reverse the damage caused by PCOS.
Carnitine improves the bodies ability to use vitamin C and improves the bodies ability to metabolize sulfur which almost every cell in the body needs.
Carnitine prevents joint deterioration and joint pain. Carnitine improves function of liver , heart and muscle even in those who have severe liver and heart damage. Canitine improves pancreatic function even in those with pancreatic cancer.
Carnitine has been shown to increase lifespan. As you can see carnitine deficiency cause many types of chronic illness and leads to early mortality.
Asparagus, cheddar cheese and whole milk are good sources. Many are deficient now days. The body can produce carnitine from lysine and methione. Oily fish are also good sources of carnitine. Up to 2000 mg a day could be taken without side effects.
Carnitine deficiency is very common now days. The most common causes of carnitine deficiency is nutrient deficiencies, antibiotic injury or consuming foods that damage the gut causing malabsorption of nutrients and vaccine injury causing inhibited blood flow to the gut. Our food is so toxic and just about everyone is vaccine injured so I would say in order to correct carnitine deficiency a person would have to work on healing the gut.