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Hello hello! I am back and today, I saw an ad from this person I sat next to in the shuttle to work. What was the relevance of that ad? Well, it was a commercial about this local drink that promotes one of their ingredients, L-carnitine. And I remembered that while growing up, I had an aunt that had a bottle of this every single day because of how it promoted weight loss. It actually didn’t. It might have been one of the major causes of her diabetes (aside from heredity, but I’ll talk about the market and sugars another time).
Going back, the ad wasn’t entirely lying about L-carnitine and weight loss, but it did cut off information about it. For one, L-carnitine does help with fat metabolism, but it has body requirements for it to do so. And first and foremost is, Does your body need the extra L-carnitine you take in?
Before I go into detail about how it affects weight loss, it would be good to talk about what this L-carnitine is.
Carnitine, collectively, is a biomolecule. It’s made of lysine and methionine, and a vitamin C precursor (these are amino acids). And it is a key component in converting fats to energy by transporting fatty acids to your mitochondria.
That’s why carnitine is often used as a nutrient and dietary supplement that can be taken by IV route or by mouth. Though it will always depend on your condition.
But then, you don’t really need to take supplements when carnitine is already found in your diet as you can see in the chart below. It accounts for the general amount of carnitine found in food. And one thing you should take note of is that the carnitine found in your diet is generally easier to absorb than the supplements that are just enriched with carnitine. It’s one of the many reasons why I think those juices that boast about having carnitine are a waste of money (this is a personal thought, okay? If you like it then I’m not gonna stop you from buying, I just take into consideration the crazy amounts of sugar that go into the drink too. It’s like a bottle of diabetes).
I did mention that carnitine is the collective term. That is because carnitine has different forms. You have:
L-carnitine - This is the active and standard form of carnitine and the one that transports your body’s fatty acid to the mitochondria. It’s actually one of the key components in diet supplements. But since this is the naturally occurring form, it's also found in your diet.
D-carnitine - is the inactive one. People don’t usually make this in the body, but if they do, they’re more likely the ones that suffer from carnitine deficiency and that’s a rare disease.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) - This one is the form of carnitine that’s good for your brain and I have seen papers on this being used for brain related diseases like in Alzheimer’s studies but there aren’t any concrete results yet.
Propionyl-L-Carnitine - This one is what they recommend for people with blood circulation problems since it boosts the production of nitric oxide in the body and that improves blood flow. I do believe they use this as a component of hypertension medication (if I remember correctly;;-;;)
L-Carnitine L-tartrate - I believe this is what they add in the juice I mentioned earlier, but then, it’s not just found in that juice, it’s also used in a vast number of sports drinks sold in the market today. This is popular in sports drinks because it’s absorbed fast, similar to the ones found in your diet. And some papers have shown that it aids with muscle soreness and recovery after exercise. But I’d still watch the sugar content if I were you.
I'll continue this on my next article since I used up all my energy again for the day 😅😅😅 Next topic to cover: How it supposedly aids with weight loss + clinical studies
Disclaimer: I'm not a med student, I'm just fascinated with compounds that go into food XD Half of the info I have here is basically taken from my old college notes