Carnitine, also known as levocarnitine, is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative. Carnitine can be produced by the body with the help of the essential amino acids methionine and lysine. The majority of carnitine is stored in the skeletal muscle but also in the liver and the heart as well.  

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which make up our skin, hair and muscles and perform a variety of functions in the body. Carnitine plays many important roles. Not only does it have an active role in energy production, but it also transports chains of fatty acids into the mitochondria (the “powerhouse” of the cell) where they can be used as fuel. Magnesium, vitamin C, iron, vitamins B3, B6, B9, B12 are necessary for synthesis of carnitine. 

Carnitine deficiency is a metabolic state in which carnitine concentrations in plasma and tissues are less than the level required for normal function of the organism and may mainly affect muscle. It may also cause hypoglycemia, fatty liver, also muscle pain, fatigue and confusion. 

Carnitine can be found naturally in many food sources such as red meat (e.g. beef), fish (e.g. codfish), poultry, and dairy products (e.g. milk). Additionally, because it is primarily found in animal products, vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of deficiency.  

In sports, carnitine plays an important role in fatty acid oxidation and energy production in the muscles. It is believed to improve performance in endurance sports, but it lacks scientific evidence. However, carnitine appears to reduce cellular damage and soreness after an excessive effort and may reduce recovery time. Carnitine deficiency can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness (especially during exercise), shortness of breath, symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), disorders of lipid metabolism, and heart problems. 

In conclusion, our carnitine levels impact many aspects of our mental and physical health. In order to make sure that your carnitine levels are balanced and steady, make sure to test your levels and to evaluate how you can make the right changes to rebalance your body and mind. 


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