What is L-Carnitine?
L-carnitine is an essential amino acid derivative that plays a role in most mammals’ energy production function. The body produces it through the synthesis of lysine and methionine. Carnitine can also be sourced from food, particularly meat.
The word carnitine is derived from the Latin word carnus, meaning meat. The redder the meat, the higher the carnitine content.
Normal healthy adults generally do not need to obtain carnitine from food as the body’s own production is sufficient. The kidneys also store carnitine very effectively for future use. Surplus carnitine is excreted in the urine to maintain an optimum level.
L-carnitine facilitates energy production by transporting fat cells to the mitochondria, where they are converted to energy. The rate of fat burn is believed to be proportional to the intake of L-carnitine.
Because L-carnitine is seen as a fat burner, it has become a popular supplement to aid in weight management regimens. Now that you’ve learned about L-carnitine let’s look at its uses and other helpful information!
Injectable L-Carnitine Uses
As mentioned, L-carnitine has become an important component of weight loss products or programs. Although weight management is probably the most common application of L-carnitine, it has also been indicated for several additional therapies.
Treatment of Carnitine Deficiency
Primary Carnitine Deficiency is a genetic condition that affects approximately 1 in 50,000 people in the US. This is where the body is unable to use convert certain fats to energy. Without carnitine, the fat cells cannot be moved to the mitochondria, so the fat cannot be processed.
It is usually diagnosed in infants or children up to four years of age. The condition leads to low carnitine levels in the muscles and can cause weakness. Left untreated, it can lead to severe heart or liver problems.
Secondary Carnitine Deficiency is where the levels of carnitine in the blood are too low. This condition has many causes, such as renal failure, liver disease, digestive disorders, or the use of certain medications. The consequences are less dire than with Primary Carnitine Deficiency, except in cases where dialysis is required.
As a Supplement to Enhance Sports Performance
Proponents of L-carnitine for performance enhancement list several benefits.:
- Reduces the time required for muscles to recover by reducing muscle metabolism
- Reduces lactic acid build-up
- Improves the storage of oxygen and improves stamina
- Improved lean muscle building.
However, the results of years of studies in the application of L-carnitine as a sports supplement have yielded inconsistent results.
Treatment of Several Medical Conditions Such as:
- Angina. This is a condition that causes chest pain due to temporarily reduced blood flow to the heart.
- Congestive heart failure, a condition where the body retains water due to inefficient heart function.
- Male infertility resulting from reduced sperm count. Carnitine has been seen to increase sperm count as well as improve sperm movement.
- Myocarditis, swelling, or inflammation of the heart. Carnitine reduces the mortality risk by as much as 27%.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. Increases ovulation and the chances of getting pregnant.
- Toxicity is caused by excessive ingestion of valproic acid. Valproic acid is used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and epileptic seizures.
Although research to date suggests that L-carnitine is indicated for these conditions, there isn’t much conclusive evidence to support the claims.
L-Carnitine has also been associated with many other conditions for which there is negligible or conflicting data. These include acne, autism, arrhythmia, androgenic alopecia, tiredness and neuropathy from chemotherapy, and many more. The research data on these therapies are insufficient to lend any credence to the claims.
Dosage for medical purposes varies according to the condition.
For carnitine deficiency, the initial dose is 300 to 400 mg/kg in 6 to 8 equal doses over a 24-hour period. This is followed by maintenance doses of 50 mg/kg daily.
Dosages vary from approximately 10 mg/kg to 500 mg/kg at varying intervals for other medical conditions. This treatment should only be administered under the advice of a physician following any applicable FDA approvals.
For weight loss and sports performance, the recommended dosage is 2g to 4 grams daily, split into two or three equal doses.
In general, L-carnitine is considered safe at recommended dosage levels. Reported side effects include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea.
A fishy odor may develop in some users. This is called trimethylaminuria. It results from the body’s inability to break down triethylamine, which has a pungent rotten fish smell. This can usually be resolved by reducing the dosage.
There is an increased risk of cardiovascular issues such as atherosclerosis with prolonged use of l-carnitine.
L-carnitine is known to interact with thyroid medication, reducing its efficacy. It increases the efficacy of Warfarin and Acenocoumarol, thereby raising the risk of excessive bleeding or bruising.
No safety data is available for the use of L-carnitine by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by children.
Pricing information for injectable l-carnitine is still quite sparse.
Available pricing information suggests costs ranging from $4 per gram to around $6 per gram. The concentration of l-carnitine in the various products ranges from 100 mg/ml of the solution to 500 mg/ml.
For non-medical applications, based on the principle of using between 2 and 4 grams per day of the active ingredient, the cost of using the supplement would, therefore, be anywhere between $8 and $24 per day.
How to Buy L-Carnitine Injections
Injectable L-carnitine must be purchased through a licensed physician who has approved the medication. At EVOLVE, we provide our patients with professional treatment plans that include L-carnitine injections. You will find our L-Carnitine Injectable 500mg/ml x 30ml Vial on our website, which can be purchased once you’ve consulted with our physician. If you are a new patient, getting started is as easy as booking an appointment with EVOLVE Patient Care, who will help you through the process. Our telemedicine process makes getting your personalized medication plan hassle-free.
Are you looking for L-carnitine workout supplements instead? L-carnitine supplements for weight loss and performance enhancement are available over-the-counter. They can be purchased online or at various outlets such as gyms, health shops, and pharmacies. These products are unregulated, and no clinical tests have been carried out.
We hope that you have found this information to be helpful. If you have any questions, please contact Patient Care @EVOLVE to get quick answers!