13 March 2008

L-Carnitine supplement

After a recent chat with the Pharm Guy, Yeech, I was introduced to this thing called L-Carnitine as dietary supplement for weight management purposes. Curious, I surfed the internet to find out more of it since I have also started taking liquid L-Carnitine as recommended by Pharm Guy to make sure I will always be able to fit into my current trousers' size (& perhaps some of my older trousers). Pharm Guy is using it to be lean & mean to conquer Gunung Kinabalu & impress the lasses at his gym (he'll kill me on the 2nd part).

I share this article I found on the Nutritional Supplements Health Guide, which I believe basically gives an overview of L-Carnitine & its effects:

L-Carnitine Side Effects You Must Know About

Many people now take L-carnitine as a dietary supplement and if you are one of them, we surely hope that you are aware of the potential L-carnitine side effect. This is not to say that L-carnitine supplements have dire side effects, but taking any medication or supplements does require proper knowledge of potential side effects.

What is L-carnitine?

Carnitine is actually an essential nutrient found in the body that helps in transporting fat into your cell mitochondria where it is transformed into energy which can be used up by your body. L-carnitine can help increase burning of fat in your body, increasing your energy level, promoting a healthy heart, a healthy circulation and a healthy liver. Carnitine exists in three forms: L-carnitine for heart and cardiovascular conditions, acetyl-L-carnitine, which is used for treating Alzheimer's disease and mental problems, and propionyl-L-carnitine which is also used for improving heart conditions.

L-carnitine is widely used as a natural method for weight loss since it enables burning of fat at much higher speeds. It can also decrease your cravings, increase your energy during exercise and increase your metabolic rate. In the same way, carnitine is used to promote heart health and in treating and managing angina, arrhythmias and other heart ailments. It is also used by athletes to promote further sports endurance.

Normal L-carnitine Dose

For all three forms, a dosage of 500 to 1,000 milligrams taken thrice a day (with food) is usually recommended. L-carnitine supplements are now being marketed as L-carnitine capsules, tablets and powder form.

Side Effects of L-carnitine

So what are the L-carnitine side effects that you should know about? Taking normal levels of carnitine does not lead you to experience unpleasant side effects. However, you may be able to experience having too much energy when taking them, and if you take them later during the day, you might have difficulties falling asleep. These side effects are not really reason for concern in many people, as they are mostly mild to moderate, and easy to deal with. Some reported acetyl-L-carnitine side effects include vomiting, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stuffy nose, restlessness and sleeping difficulty. Some serious side effects may include fast heartbeat rates, increase in your blood pressure and fever.

L-carnitine Safety Issues

However, if you have low or border-line thyroid levels, you should not take L-carnitine as it may impair the action of your thyroid hormone. Also, if you are on dialysis, taking L-carnitine (and other supplements, in general) is highly discouraged. As a dietary supplement for weight loss, the only danger that L-carnitine poses is the risk for anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder marked by starvation). Because L-carnitine can decrease your appetite, this desired effect can worsen and you can end up starving yourself due to physiologically reasons or in hopes of losing more and more weight.

Is L-carnitine safe to take?

Well, based on the facts presented above, the advantages of using the supplement go far beyond potential risks. It is very safe to take as long as you take it in the prescribed dosage. L-carnitine side effects can only prove harmful to you if you do not use it as advised.

Till later, live long & prosper.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, you gotta admit, the thingy is working, right? As for the 2nd part, Well, yeah... I'm gonna kick you when I see you... hahaha... :p