Canadian Medical Guide > Vitamins & Mineral Food Supplement Guide


Vitamin / Mineral Supplement Overview:
L-Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It increases the use of fat as an energy source by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are burned to release energy for body functions. The L-carnitine form may cause adverse side effects however. It is available in several different forms including propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine. Propionyl-L-carnitine, through its enhancement of metabolism has been proven to prevent ischemia-induced heart dysfunction, and acetyl-L-carnitine has been suggested to delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease. L-carnitine is found naturally in avocados, breast milk, dairy products, red meats (namely lamb and beef), and tempeh (fermented soybean product). A deficiency of L-Carnitine can cause muscle fatigue, cramps, or low blood-sugar levels.

How This Supplement Works in Your Body:
Promotes normal growth and development
Possible treatment for (and maybe prevention of) some forms of cardiovascular disease
May protect against muscle disease
May help build muscle
May protect against liver disease
May protect against diabetes
May protect against kidney disease
Potential diet aid
May make low-calorie diets easier to tolerate by reducing feelings of hunger and weakness
May increase energy and activity in people with congestive heart disease

Where L-Carnitine Supplement is Found:
Breast milk
Dairy products
Red meats (namely lamb and beef)
Tempeh (fermented soybean product)

Using L-Carnitine:
Take whole with a full glass of liquid. Do not chew or crush. Take L-carnitine with meals or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise advised by your physician.
Avoid L-carnitine tablets; they may be toxic.

L-Carnitine is Available as:

Medical Precautions: Do not take if you are:
Allergic to any food protein, like eggs, milk, and wheat
At risk of poor nutrition for any reason
Pregnant, there is a possibility you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future

Consult your Medical Doctor If you:
Experience any liver or kidney problems

Seek advise from your medical doctor before using this supplement. No proven supplement problems exist in pregnant women taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.

Seek advise from your medical doctor before using this supplement. No proven supplement problems exist in breast-fed infants of lactating mothers taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.

Infants and Children:
It is hazardous to treat infants and children under 2 with any supplement.

L-Carnitine Vitamin Supplement Storage:
Keep in a cool and dry location, but do not freeze.
Keep safely away from children.
Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness may alter the action of the supplement.

Safe L-Carnitine Vitamin / Mineral dosage:
To date, no safe vitamin / mineral dosage has been established.

L-Carnitine Toxicity:
Information on the comparative-toxicity rating cannot be found in standard references.

L-Carnitine Side Effects:
Signs and symptoms : What to do
Muscle weakness : Discontinue use. Consult your doctor.
Symptoms of myasthenia (progressive weakness of certain muscle groups without evidence of atrophy or wasting) have been reported in kidney patients being maintained for prolonged periods on hemodialysis and supplemental L-carnitine : Do not take supplements without doctor's prescription and supervision.


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