What is Carnitine?

Carnitine (l-Carnitine Bitartrate) is an extraordinary amino acid that actually improves the conditioning of your heart. It also improves artery disease and reportedly slows the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that people who supplement with l-Carnitine while engaging in an exercise regimen are less likely to experience muscle soreness. Carnitine is known to improve fat oxidation and increase athletic performance.

 

How does it work?

Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. It is needed to release energy from fat.  It transports fatty acids into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, which in turn makes energy available to the body. It has been reported that Carnitine increases sperm motility.

 

Where does it come from?

Dairy and red meat, especially lamb, contain the greatest amounts of Carnitine.

 

Safety / Side Effects

L-Carnitine has not been consistently linked with any toxicity.

 

Studies Involving Sperm

Sixty-five infertile men were divided into five groups according to their sperm analysis: normospermia (n=42), oligospermia (n=23), asthenospermia (n=42), teratospermia (n=44) and oligoasthenospermia (n=10).  Total seminal plasma Carnitine concentration differed significantly between controls and the patient groups (P<0.05).  There was a statistically significant positive correlation between seminal plasma total Carnitine concentration with total sperm count and the percentage of normal forms (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively).  Total Carnitine concentration was found to be low in the athenospermia group when compared with the group of patients, whose total motile sperm percentage was 51 (P<0.05).  These findings suggest that the determination of seminal Carnitine levels may be a useful test in evaluation of male infertility. (Rosa, et al, 2001)

 

Interactions

Certain medicines may interact with l-Carnitine.  Consult with your physician or pharmacist to determine if any of your medications might interact with this supplement.

 

References

Dr. Rosa M, Boggia B, Amalfi B, Zarrilli S, Vita A, Colao A, & Lombardi G. (2001) Correlation between seminal carnitine and functional spermatozoal characteristics in men with semen dysfunction of various origins.
Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, University of Maples Federico II, Naples, Italy.  Miderosa@Urina.it. Drugs R D. 2005;6(1):1-9.