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L-carnitine is very similar to the nonessential amino acid carnitine. It performs some of the same functions, such as helping metabolize food into energy.

L-carnitine is perhaps more widely known for its fat burning, dieting support properties than for its contribution to muscle building. In dieting, it is also known to reduce feelings of hunger and weakness. In body building, L-carnitine supplementation promotes development and growth of muscle and delaying muscle fatigue. It is also widely used for fat-burning and increasing energy.

Published studies show L-carnitine is useful in increasing the heart's output and improving it's functioning, as well as stimulating the heart's energy supply and improving cardiac performance.

The body needs lysine, methionine, vitamin C, iron, niacin, and vitamin B6 to produce carnitine.

L-carnitine is very similar to the nonessential amino acid carnitine. It performs some of the same functions, such as helping metabolize food into energy. It is widely used for both its fat-burning and increasing energy properties in dieting and in muscle building.

Benefits of L-Carnitine to Dieting

  • Reduce feelings of hunger and weakness.
  • Increases energy

Benefits of L-Carnitine in Muscle Building

  • L-carnitine supplementation used in conjunction with exercise programs has been shown to:
  • promote development and growth of muscle
  • delay muscle fatigue.
  • Reduce post workout muscle soreness.
  • Increase energy.

Disease Fighting Benefits of L-Carnitine

L-carnitine has also proven beneficial for those suffering from:

  • Cardiac Failure - cardioprotective activity and beneficia affects on cardiac function.
  • Hypertension - vascular protection properties from its ability to lower triglyceride levels and increase levels of HDL-cholesterol
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - neuroprotective activity
  • Beta thalassemia - an inherited, fatal form of anemia common in people of Mediterranean descent. Remedial blood transfusions, can eventually result in iron overload. L-carnitine stabilizes red blood cells may decrease the need for blood transfusions.
  • Diabetes - no evidence that L-carnitine will prevent diabetes, although abnormal carnitine metabolism is associated with diabetes.



L-carnitine is manufactured in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Niacin, vitamins B6 and C, and iron are involved in its biosynthesis. It transfers long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into the cells energy centre, the mitochondria, where they may be oxidized to produce energy.



Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure were given 4 grams of L-carnitine per day in an preliminary study. After 45 weeks, irregular heartbeat and abnormal heart functioning decreased significantly compared with non-supplemented patients.

For congestive heart failure, a number of studies have shown marked improvements. For instance:

  • 500 mg per day of 500 mg PC per day, a modified form of carnitine [propionyl-L-carnitine], led to a 26% increase in exercise capacity after six months.
  • 1.5 grams PC daily for 15 days showed a 21% increase in exercise tolerance and a 45% increase in oxygen consumption.

Studies on athletic performance enhancement have been inconclusive.

  • Trained athletes given 2 grams of L-carnitine two hours before and after a 20 km run failed to demonstrate improved physical performance or exercise recovery.

Other studies have been more positive:

  • 2 grams of L-carnitine taken twice per day for two to four weeks led to positive changes in lung function and metabolism during exercise.



L-Carnitine is found in avocados, dairy products, red meats [especially lamb and beef] and in fermented soy products, e.g. tempeh. It can also be obtained through nutritional supplementation.

About 60 to 75% of L-carnitine from food is absorbed. The percentage absorbed from supplements appears to be lower [one study showed only 20% of a 2-gram dose].


Symptoms of Deficiency

Carnitine deficiencies are rare, even in strict vegetarians, because the body produces carnitine relatively easily. Muscle fatigue, cramps, or pre-mature aging are all signs of possible deficiency.

Anyone deficient in protein or amino acids in their diet could benefit from L-carnitine supplementation. Pre-mature infants, vegan vegetarians, children, and breast-feeding women may tend to be deficient.

Rare genetic diseases can cause a carnitine deficiency. Also, deficiencies are occasionally associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and cirrhosis.

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L-carnitine is a non-essential or conditional amino acid. This means that most people do not need carnitine supplements. However, if certain pathology or intensive demands are placed on the body, supplementation may be beneficial

For therapeutic use, typical amounts are 1–3 grams per day

For muscle building and exercise performance: 2-4 grams of L-carnitine should be taken one hour before exercise, for two weeks.


Side Effects

  • L-carnitine has not been consistently linked with any toxicity.
  • The DL form of carnitine may be toxic and is not recommended.
  • Certain medicines may interact with L-carnitine.


Recommended L-Carnitine Products




Item Catalog Number: 051 L-Carnitine Powder 100 grams

A major cause of aging is the deterioration of the energy producing components of the cell which results in reduced cellular metabolic activity, the accumulation of cellular debris, and eventual death of the cell.



  1. NOW L-Carnitine
  2. Dymatize Dyma-Burn Xtreme
  3. Universal Super Cuts 3
  4. Ultimate Nutrition L-Carnitine
  5. NxCare Methyl Ripped

Carnitor (Sigma-Tau), Carnitine-300 (Key Company), Carni Fuel (Twinlab), Mega L-Carnitine (Twinlab) and Maximal Burner Carnitine (Bricker Labs), Proxeed (Sigma-Tau).

Key Amino Acids for Maximum Performance & Muscle Building

L-Arginine | L-Glutamine | L-Ornithine | L-Glycine | L-Lysine | GABA | DHEA | HGH

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