From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


(Science: amino acid) Is a dipeptide - an amino acid made from two other aminos, methionine and lysine. It can be synthesised in the liver if sufficient amounts of lysine, B1, B6 and iron are available. Muscle and organ meat, fish and milk products are the best sources of carnitine in the diet.

Carnitine has been shown to have a major role in the metabolism of fat and in the reduction of triglycerides by increasing fat utilisation. It transfers fatty acids across the membranes of the mitochondria where they can be utilised as sources of energy. It also increases the rate at which the liver uses fats. By preventing fatty build-up, this amino acid aids in weight loss and decreases the risk of heart disease. Carnitine has been shown to be deficient in hearts of patients who have died of acute myocardial infections.

muscular dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy have been shown to lead to carnitine loss in the urine and therefore higher requirements for it. Carnitine is stored primarily in the skeletal muscles and heart, where it is needed to transform fatty acids into energy for muscular activity. It is also concentrated in sperm and the brain. Many athletes have noted increased endurance and muscle building with carnitine supplementation.

deficiencies may increase symptoms of fatigue, angina, muscle weakness or confusion. A low level of vitamin c will also result in apparent Carnitine deficiency. It is contraindicated for people with liver or kidney Disease or diabetes It has proven helpful in improving lipid metabolism and reducing elevated total lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides in people with cardiac problems and diabetes, but should only be taken with medical supervision in these conditions.