A Sports Nutrition Discourse regarding a supplement for Fitness Vancouver
Some of the Benefits of L-Carnitine and Awareness
For today’s blog addition I would like to reprint some of the work of Dr. Robert Haas. Dr. Haas is one of the pioneers, in my opinion, in regards to sports nutrition. After reviewing some of his material, I thought I would reprint it in an effort to review basics,and to provide awareness to the concept of nutrition, performance and supplementation. The information is not new but is, what I would consider, a fundamental and a good review. For some, this may be new information and concepts. For me, there is a benefit just with the concept of being aware of the role of nutrition on success, performance and fat reduction. This awareness can help you think of ways to improve.
How L-Carnitine Works
L-Carnitine is an amino acid-like substance that transports fats within cells so they can be burned for energy instead of being stored as fat. L-carnitine thus plays a unique role in fat metabolism, because without it the body cannot burn fat. L-carnitine actually carries fat into special sites (called mitochondria) within each cell that burn fat and carbohydrates for energy. L-carnitine mistakenly has been called a vitamin when actually it is not, because the body can synthesize it from amino acids, with the help of vitamin C, the B vitamins, and iron. The body can also absorb L-carnitine from food and L-carnitine dietary supplements.
L-carnitine is so essential for fat metabolism that people on carnitine-deficient diets experience high levels of blood fats (triglycerides) until their diets are supplemented with it. Several researchers have suggested that some overweight people may not fully utilize the L-carnitine that their body manufactures (perhaps due to genetics and /or the metabolic derangements cause by obesity itself) and consequently must rely on supplemental L-carnitine to successfully reduce body fat.
L-Carnitine and Fat
L-carnitine is absolutely essential for the transport of long-chain fatty acids across the inner membranes of the mitochondria. What this means is that without L-carnitine cells cannot burn fat efficiently for energy. L-carnitine is present in a number of ordinary foods such as wheat germ, cauliflower, chicken, beef, cow’s milk and lamb. The body synthesizes L-carnitine from two simple amino acids, lysine and methionine, and this synthesizing process, which takes place in the liver and kidneys, requires vitamins C, B-3, B-6, and iron.
Once synthesized in the liver and kidneys, L-carnitine is transported in the blood to skeletal and heart muscles, where it accumulates in muscle cells. There L-carnitine becomes involved in a large number of metabolic process, which include:
- Controlling the amount of sugar the body takes from protein.
- Protein metabolism (breakdown of specific amino acids)
- Sperm maturation and mobility
- Transporting signals between cells in the brain
- Lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reversing some of the harmful effects on the immune system that result from intravenous hospital liquid diets
- Boosting endurance
- Lowering recovery pulse rate after exercise
- Burning body fat more efficiently
L-Carnitine and Athletic Performance
Athletes use L-carnitine as an ergogenic (energy-enhancing) substance. The first human clinical study measuring the physiological effects of L-carnitine supplementation in well-trained endurance athletes, conducted at the University of Wyoming demonstrated that L-carnitine supplements can boost endurance, lower recovery pulse rate and burn body fat.
Scientists in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming conducted a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of L-carnitine when used by collegiate cross-county runners and wrestlers. The results of the study showed that L-carnitine was related to lowering body-weight and body fat and improving (lowering) pulse recover time after physical activity. Runners lost 14.3 percent of their body fat, and wrestlers lost 33.6 percent of their body fat during the thirty-day test period. While there may have been additional reasons for this impressive weight loss ( such as increased physical activity or decreased caloric intake), the scientists who conducted the study concluded that L-carnitine (at a dosage of 500 milligrams per day) can be of benefit for improving heart muscle function, lowering body weight and body fat, and increasing aerobic power.
Don’t be misled by these and other findings as they are reported at later times. L-carnintine is not really a miracle fat-burning substance, but rather a vital and nescessary substance that you may require in supplemental form in order to burn fat, most efficiently, keep blood fats and cholesterol at safe levels, and reach your highest level of maximum performance.
-Dr. Robert Haas
Supplementation is an important adjunct for mixed martial arts performance and Fitness Vancouver.