Weight Loss Benefits and Side Effects of Carnitine

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

If you take fat burners to boost weight loss then you’re probably familiar with L-carnitine. L-carnitine is a type of amino acid synthesized by the body from lysine and methionine. This nutrient is used to improve performance, gain muscle mass and yes, torch calories. But before taking L-carnitine supplements, you have to know its benefits and side effects. In today’s post, we are listing down the advantages and disadvantages of taking L-carnitine supplements.

Benefits of Carnitine

Boost Fat Loss

L-carnitine is most popular for its fat-burning abilities. L-carnitine transfers long-chain fatty acids like triglycerides into mitochondria. Mitochondria oxidize easily to produce energy. Research shows that carnitine can prevent fatigue and suppress the appetite. By pairing carnitine supplements with exercise and diet, you will achieve a leaner, more muscular form in half the time.

Increase Muscle Mass

Did you know carnitine does more than torch fat? It can actually increase your muscle mass. Carnitine is the secret weapon of all bodybuilders and hard gainers alike. By pairing carnitine with strength training, the muscle fibers develop faster and you gain more power. This will allow you to lift heavier weights. Overtime, you will develop beautiful boulders of muscles.

Improve Bone Mass

If you want to achieve a stronger, more solid frame then whip out the carnitine supplements. Aging causes the bones to weaken. This makes you prone to bone diseases and inflammatory disorders like gout or arthritis. Taking carnitine could cut the risk of developing these conditions. Its natural compounds slow down the bone loss process. Carnitine also improves the bones’ microstructural integrity by reducing bone turnover. The result? Denser, stronger bones.

Side Effects of Carnitine

It’s Not for Everyone

If you are suffering from heart disease or diabetes, do not take carnitine supplements. Certain compounds in carnitine do not interact well with heart disease or diabetes medications. Carnitine also increases the heart rate so if you are sensitive or afflicted with a certain heart condition, do not take this supplement. Even if you are healthy, we still recommend consulting your doctor first before taking any supplements.

Increase Muscle Cramps

Yes, carnitine will cause muscle cramps so make sure you take all the necessary precautions before you lift weights.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Carnitine can also cause gastrointestinal problems. A study conducted by researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found that taking this supplement increases the risk of cramps, nausea, and vomiting significantly. While these symptoms aren’t severe, it’s still worth noting.

Mild Diarrhea

If you take more than 5 g of L-carnitine per day, you will experience mild to severe diarrhea. According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center, diarrhea from taking carnitine is just a passing symptom. You can prevent this by reducing the dosage.

Body Odor

Carnitine leads to the production of certain bacteria that generates a strong fishy odor. However, it takes more than 3,000 mg. of carnitine taken every day to produce an unpleasant odor. According to a research by the University of Maryland Medical Center, too much carnitine could lead to infertility, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease.


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