What is Carnitine? 10 Points from our IV Therapy Toronto Lounge

Did you know that carnitine supplements and IV therapy in Toronto could support optimal health?

As an amino acid derivative, carnitine stimulates cellular functioning in the human body. According to the National Institutes of Health, “It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy,” all while preventing toxicities from building up.

Carnitine is also crucial for promoting improved brain function, cardiovascular health, muscle health and more. So how exactly does it foster beneficial effects? Read on to learn about this amino acid and why some patients opt it for IV treatments.

10 Facts About Carnitine

  1. Carnitine is a general label used to describe this amino acid; it actually consists of various compounds known as L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, D-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine.
  2. It might contribute to improving fertility. A study from the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association looked at the sperm quality of 61 adult males. It was shown that carnitine levels in the blood were drastically low in infertile males compared to fertile subjects. Further research is necessary, but scientists suggest that the amino acid could support male fertility.
  3. In a study on patients with diabetes, carnitine was verified to be a key ingredient for diabetes management. An article from the Journal of the American Nutrition Association explained that L-carnitine IV infusion therapy improved insulin activity and boosted sugar uptake because “… glucose oxidation is increased during L-carnitine administration.”
  4. Centenarians tend to have compromised mobility, mental health and endurance. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has explained that carnitine could contribute to cellular energy metabolism in this age group, triggering various advantages. “Our study indicates that oral administration of [L-carnitine] produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscular mass, and facilitates an increased capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions,” the journal piece explained.
  5. As per some studies, it may aid in promoting physical performance and endurance. In one study on professional footballers, running speeds were enhanced when the dosages of L-carnitine increased. Additionally, participants on the supplement experienced lowered heart rates.
  6. According to an article from Molecular and Clinical Oncology, cancer patients on chemotherapy tend to experience L-carnitine shortcomings, resulting in excessive fatigue. But one study suggested that supplementation “…maintained the plasma levels of albumin and lymphocyte counts during chemotherapy, and enabled patients to continue chemotherapy sequentially without dose reduction,” confirmed the Molecular and Clinical Oncology article.
  7. Your body can create carnitine on its own; but some individuals cannot produce it due to genetic or health conditions. Thus, supplementation may be necessary for promoting optimal functioning. Please speak to your functional medicine provider, as supplementation could interact with antibiotics and anticonvulsants, and exacerbate some thyroid conditions.
  8. There are food sources to boost your dietary intake. Keep in mind that animal meat sources contain ideal amounts of carnitine in comparison to vegetables and grains – your functional medicine provider can guide you on food choices, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Some foods rich in carnitine include ground beef, chicken breast, codfish and cheddar cheese.
  9. Oral supplements are available in liquid or capsule form. Your healthcare provider will likely start you off on a low dose and, if need be, your dose might gradually increase. Some side effects may include nausea, heartburn, or diarrhea.
  10. If you experience malabsorption, intravenous therapy/IV therapy can be considered. This is a treatment that can address nutritional deficiencies, increase blood cell production, and also help with heightening energy levels. Unlike oral capsules, IV nutrient therapy bypasses the digestive tract, which contributes to avoiding unwanted side effects.

Recommended Reading: 10 Facts About Calcium: An IV Therapy Toronto Guide

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, carnitine supplementation and IV vitamin drip treatments are available for patients. Are you interested in becoming a new patient? Continue reading below.

About our Vitamin IV Therapy and Clinic

Customized strategies for much-needed energy, anti-aging effects, athletic recovery, and cognition can be applied to different health issues, like chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disease, infertility and seasonal infections. Our assortment of IV therapy drips is designed to help combat oxidative stress. Since each patient is a “unique entity”, we tailor intravenous therapy according to your biology and health goals.

IV therapy from our clinic is compounded daily and can come with various beneficial ingredients, such as high-dose vitamin C, mistletoe, glutathione, glutamic acid, major antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid , Myers Cocktail, a medley of amino acids, and more. Safety is top-of-mind at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre – intravenous infusion sessions are always supervised by our medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, and nurse practitioner.

At our practice, your health concerns can be addressed with a range of treatment modalities, including Eastern and Western medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Functional medicine programs are also available as a personalized service for new and existing patients.

How can we help elevate your well-being? Learn about our integrative approach to health care – click here to request your FREE discovery session on IV therapy in Toronto.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

 

References:

Ahmed SD, Karira KA, Jagdesh, Ahsan S. Role of L-carnitine in male infertility. J Pak Med Assoc. 2011 Aug;61(8):732-6. PMID: 22355991.

Carnitine Fact Sheet for Health Professionals,” from the National Institutes of Health, updated March 29, 2021, viewed on December 26, 2022. 

Malaguarnera M, Cammalleri L, Gargante MP, Vacante M, Colonna V, Motta M. L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1738-44. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/86.5.1738. PMID: 18065594.

Matsui H, Einama T, Shichi S, Kanazawa R, Shibuya K, Suzuki T, Matsuzawa F, Hashimoto T, Homma S, Yamamoto J, Taketomi A, Abe H. L-Carnitine supplementation reduces the general fatigue of cancer patients during chemotherapy. Mol Clin Oncol. 2018 Mar;8(3):413-416. doi: 10.3892/mco.2018.1557. Epub 2018 Jan 16. PMID: 29456846; PMCID: PMC5795559.

Mingrone G, Greco AV, Capristo E, Benedetti G, Giancaterini A, De Gaetano A, Gasbarrini G. L-carnitine improves glucose disposal in type 2 diabetic patients. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Feb;18(1):77-82. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1999.10718830. PMID: 10067662.

Parandak K, Arazi H, Khoshkhahesh F, Nakhostin-Roohi B. The effect of two-week L-carnitine supplementation on exercise -induced oxidative stress and muscle damage. Asian J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;5(2):123-8. PMID: 25834706; PMCID: PMC4374610.

Orer GE, Guzel NA. The effects of acute L-carnitine supplementation on endurance performance of athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Feb;28(2):514-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a76790. PMID: 24263659.

What to know about L-carnitine” from Medical News Today, medically reviewed by Angela M. Bell, MD, FACP — By Jon Johnson on July 20, 2020, viewed on December 28, 2022.

Wutzke KD, Lorenz H. The effect of l-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover, and body composition in slightly overweight subjects. Metabolism. 2004 Aug;53(8):1002-6. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.03.007. PMID: 15281008.