L-carnitine supplements are used to increase L-carnitine levels in people whose natural level of L-carnitine is too low because they have a genetic disorder, are taking certain drugs (valproic acid for seizures), or because they are undergoing a medical procedure (hemodialysis for kidney disease) that uses up the body's L-carnitine.
It is also used as a replacement supplement in strict vegetarians, dieters, and low-weight or premature infants.
Until more is known, don't substitute one form of carnitine for another. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes. G., Pesce, V., Fluck, M., Hoppeler, H., Calvani, M., Mosconi, L., Cantatore, P., and Gadaleta, M. Acetyl-L-carnitine feeding to unloaded rats triggers in soleus muscle the coordinated expression of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis.
L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth and when used as an injection, with the approval of a healthcare provider.
Small amounts of L-carnitine have been given to infants in breast milk and formula with no reported side effects. U., Caruso, U., Cravotto, E., D'Iddio, S., Corsi, M., Pola, P., Savi, L., and Grilli, M.
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It can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, and seizures. Cassano, P., Fluck, M., Giovanna, Sciancalepore A., Pesce, V., Calvani, M., Hoppeler, H., Cantatore, P., and Gadaleta, M. Muscle unloading potentiates the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on the slow oxidative muscle phenotype.
It can also cause the urine, breath, and sweat to have a "fishy" odor.
Effects of carnitine coingested caffeine on carnitine metabolism and endurance capacity in athletes.