Carnitine is not an amino acid in the strictest definition. However,
because it has a chemical structure like an amino acid, it is usually put in that
category, The main function of carnitine in the human body is helping transport long chain
fatty acids. These fatty acids are burned inside cells to provide energy. This is a major
source of energy for your muscles. Thus carnitine is used in health supplements to boost
energy, prevent fatigue, and maintain the body.
Carnitine also increases the use of fat as an energy source, thus
supporting a healthy heart, liver, and muscles. By doing so, carnitine helps to support
normal blood lipids and sugar.
Carnitine has the added benefit that it increases the effects of the
anti-oxidants vitamin E and vitamin C.
Because men normally have more muscle mass than women they may need more
carnitine. Vegetarians also are likely to need more carnitine supplementation since
vegetable protein contains no carnitine. Also, carnitine supplements have been
suggested to enhance athletic performance and endurance.
Medical studies have also indicated that carnitine helps support a healthy
Carnitine supplemental forms include: