What is carnitine?

Carnitine is a nutrient that the body produces to get energy out of fat. Both the kidney and the liver produce this nutrient. Some people, as a result of certain medications and medical conditions, are not able to produce enough carnitine. Extra carnitine can be found in red meat and dairy products. Otherwise, you can take carnitine supplements. There are several different kinds of carnitine supplements. Acetyl-L-carnitine is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related brain concerns, although the effectiveness of the treatment is still being studied. This and other forms of carnitine are being studied for their purported use for erectile problems or fertility problems in men, as well as heart issues.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Carnitine is a vitamin-like compound that stimulates the breakdown of long-chain fatty acids with the help of mitochondria (tiny energy-producing organelles in our cells). Carnitine is essential for the transportation of fatty acids into the mitochondria.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

Continue Learning about Nutrition

Lose the “Secret Salt” Hiding in Your Food
Lose the “Secret Salt” Hiding in Your Food
Moviegoers love a good secret. There are more than 200 movies with the word “Secret” in the title—including, we kid you not, The Secret Lives of Denti...
Read More
Why are fruits, grains and vegetables energetically clean?
Master Stephen CoMaster Stephen Co
Fruits, grains, and vegetables are energetically clean because they are close to the ultimate source...
More Answers
How to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar Bombs
How to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar Bombs
These sneaky sugar sources can sabotage your diet and send blood sugar levels soaring.
Start Slideshow
Why Should My Child Eat Healthy Fats?
Why Should My Child Eat Healthy Fats?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.