In my last article I discussed L-Carnitine and its benefits to
enhance weight management and exercise performance. This article
will address L-Carnitine
’s function as it relates to cardiovascular health.
In my last article I discussed L-Carnitine and its benefits to enhance weight management and exercise performance.
This article will address L-Carnitine’s function as it relates to cardiovascular health.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid-like/B vitamin-like substance which can be provided to the body by food intake (mainly from foods of animal origin, particularly red meat) and can be manufactured by the body itself.
It can also be obtained through supplementation (pills, powders etc.). It is very difficult to get too much L-Carnitine.
Let’s discuss how L-Carnitine affects cardiovascular health.
About 70 percent of the metabolic energy in the heart comes from the burning of fatty acids. L-Carnitine turns fatty acids into energy by breaking them down.
Therefore, it is not surprising that there are high levels of L-Carnitine in the cardiac muscle.
In fact, studies have shown that there are lower levels of L-Carnitine in heart failure patients.
Additional evidence indicates that L-Carnitine may protect the heart from too little blood flow, which would impair the function of the heart and lead to a possible heart attack.
L-Carnitine supplementation can also substantially increase cardiac viability in people who have previously suffered a heart attack.
Evidence also shows that it may benefit people who suffer from chest pain when the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen (angina pectoris) or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
According to scientific data, taking L-Carnitine helps significantly reduce the incidence of angina and arrhythmias. This type of supplementation was also connected with decreased need for medications for these conditions.
This is good news for exercisers who suffer from these ailments. In stable angina, those who take L-Carnitine along with their current medication tolerate exercise better, as well as show improved cardiac function.
L-Carnitine supplementation has also been shown to be beneficial in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and can even be used after cardiovascular conditions develop.
There is no disputing that the heart is a vital organ, and L-Carnitine is a great way of keeping our most important muscle strong and healthy. In our quest for good health, L-Carnitine is an extremely effective tool.
Karen Frost is the Wellness Director for Gold’s Gym of Morgan Hill. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Physical Education from New York University, and is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal Trainer and a Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.