October 2013

Oct 26 2013


Categories: Did You Know | Posted by: Michelle Price


L-Carnitine is derived from amino-acids and transports long-chain acyl groups from fatty acids into the mitchondria matirx so they can be broken down through B-oxidation to acetyl CoA to obtain usable energy via the citric acid cycle (1)  and help burn unwanted body fat.

Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm.

Usually, your body can make all the carnitine it needs. Some people, however, may not have enough carnitine because their bodies cannot make enough or can’t transport it into tissues so it can be used. Some other conditions, such as angina or intermittent claudication, can also cause low levels of carnitine in the body, as can some medications.

Carnitine has also been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant i.e.  heart conditions, PVD, diabetic neuropathy, ect (4) Antioxidants fight harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cells and tamper with DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause. (4)

Food Sources:

The highest concentrations of Carnitine are found in red meat and dairy products.

Carnitine can be found at significantly lower levels in many other foods including nuts and seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), legumes or pulses (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra, parsley, kale), fruits (apricots, bananas), cereals (buckwheat, corn, millet, oatmeal, rice bran, rye, whole wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ) and other foods (bee pollen, brewer’s yeast, carob) (1)

Table 1: Selected food sources of Carnitine [2]
Product Quantity Carnitine
Beef steak 100 g 95 mg
Ground beef 100 g 94 mg
Pork 100 g 27.7 mg
Bacon 100 g 23.3 mg
Tempeh 100 g 19.5 mg
Cod fish 100 g  5.6 mg
Chicken breast 100 g  3.9 mg
American cheese 100 g  3.7 mg
Ice cream 100 ml  3.7 mg
Whole milk 100 ml  3.3 mg
Avocado one medium 2 mg
Cottage cheese 100 g  1.1 mg
Whole-wheat bread 100 g  0.36 mg
Asparagus 100 g  0.195 mg
White bread 100 g  0.147 mg
Macaroni 100 g  0.126 mg
Peanut butter 100 g  0.083 mg
Rice (cooked) 100 g  0.0449 mg
Eggs 100 g  0.0121 mg
Orange juice 100 ml  0.0019 mg
20 to   200 mg are ingested per day by those on an omnivorous diet, whereas those on a strict vegetarian   or vegan   diet may ingest as little as 1 mg/day. (3)(1)

No advantage appears to exist in giving   an oral dose greater than 2 g at one time, since absorption studies   indicate saturation at this dose. (1)

Doses greater than 3g per day can cause side effects such   as can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea,   and a “fishy” body odor. 



Available Forms:-

L-carnitine: the most widely available and least  expensive

Propionyl-L-carnitine: Often used in studies for   heart disease and peripheral vascular disease

Avoid D-carnitine supplements. they  interfere with the natural form of L-carnitine and may cause side-effects

If  you have a pre-existing medical condition, please speak to your health care provider  before taking L-Carnitine and respect the recommended dosage. 

Michelle Price BScPt

WBFF & IFPA Figure Pro


1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitine

2) Steiber A, Kerner J, Hoppel C (2004). “Carnitine: a nutritional, biosynthetic, and functional perspective”. Mol. Aspects Med. 25 (5–6): 455–73. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2004.06.006. PMID 15363636.

3) Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University

4) http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/carnitine-lcarnitine



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