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I'm adding it back onto my small list of daily supplements
Carnitine is a supplement that is often touted as a "magic pill" for weight loss or exercise performance.
The weight loss benefits are arguably still unsubstantiated. And, some sports authorities believe that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend Carnitine to athletes.
However, Carnitine does have benefits which have recently been substantiated for diabetics (I'm one of those).
L-Carnitine (or just Carnitine as it is commonly known) is a compound synthesised in the body from lysine and methionine (two essential amino acids produced within the brain, kidneys and liver). It is also in dietary animal protein.
It is present in nearly all cells of our body. Excess Carnitine is stored in the kidneys, which regulate the proper amount in our body.
Once produced, Carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilise fatty acids as a dietary fuel
Carnitine has an important role in transporting activated fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane into our muscles.
It's here where they can then be used as a fuel source (particularly during low-intensity aerobic exercise).
Carnitine also assists in the metabolic processes for ongoing energy production during high-intensity exercise.
Recent research substantiates claims
Until recently, little research evidence supported the claims made about Carnitine, especially in relation to (1) weight loss, and (2) improved athletic performance.
However, Fielding et al 2018 found reported that Carnitine:
The US National Institutes of Health,states "Healthy children and adults do not need to consume carnitine from food or supplements, as the liver and kidneys produce sufficient amounts from the amino acids lysine and methionine to meet daily needs".
However, it goes on the acknowledge that:
No known side-effects
Here's the good news - there are no known side effects of long term use of Carnitine at recommended doses.
The Sports Dietitians Association of Australia report "Adding L-carnitine to food", October 2018, recommends "up to 2g/day, based on current evidence regarding its safety".
They added "No side effects have been observed with doses up to 6g Carnitine per day for three months. Doses higher than this or over longer periods have not been investigated extensively".
Subjects in the studies referred to by US National Institutes of Health administered took 1.5–3.0 grams/day of acetyl-L-carnitine for 3–12 months.
I'm taking some - again
The choice is yours.
The current evidence suggest that diabetics (particularly Type 2 diabetics like me) may benefit in at least these three ways by daily consumption of Carnitine:
Given that there are no know side-effects at the recommended long-term dose rate of up to 3.0 grams/day, trialling Carnitine is something for we people with diabetes to consider seriously.
I had been taking it about 12 months ago. I stopped because I hadn't convinced myself that it was worthwhile. I like to experiment, but I cut things out as well as often as I can.
I have just started with Carnitine again after reading recent reports.
Will you try - what do you think?
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter