L-Carnitine Weight Loss: Does L-Carnitine Help Lose Weight?

Elite HRT

Written by Elite HRT on October 06, 2021

Medically reviewed by

Camille Frecking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR

Losing weight is a constant battle and is something that may get more difficult with age or as you go through the ebbs and flows of weight gain and weight loss. Weight struggles can be taxing both physically and emotionally, so it is no wonder that you may need some extra help. 

Luckily several things may be able to help you shed the pounds a little easier. Is L-carnitine one of those things that can aid in your weight loss journey? Keep reading to learn more about L-carnitine and weight loss, how it works in the body, other benefits of L-carnitine, the side effects of L-carnitine, dosing, and more. 

What Is L-Carnitine?

L-carnitine sounds like what the biggest carnivore in your life probably takes to make them big and strong. 

But it is actually an essential nutrient that supports the body in breaking down fat and turning it into energy. L-carnitine also has other roles as well such as enhancing endurance and energy levels, supporting lowered cholesterol, and supporting liver health. 

However, there is something to that carnivore concept from earlier though — L-carnitine is naturally found in animal products. For example, some of the foods with the highest L-carnitine levels are beef, codfish, chicken, milk, and other dairy products. 

Since L-carnitine may help in so many ways, a supplemental source of L-carnitine may be very helpful, especially for those that have a diet with low levels of animal products. 

Can L-Carnitine Help You Lose Weight?

L-carnitine may help you lose weight, but it may not work for everyone, much like a certain diet may be better for some than others. 

L-carnitine helps to burn fat in the body for energy which is an essential component of weight loss. 

The important thing to know is you also have to put in some extra work if you want to see the best weight loss results from L-carnitine. 

If you are eating fast food every day while sitting on your couch it is likely that you won’t see the pounds being shredded. Alternatively, if you focus on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet and exercising regularly while on L-carnitine, you may feel like losing weight is much easier than it was before.

How Does L-Carnitine Help With Weight Loss?

The way L-carnitine works in the body makes sense with how it may help you lose weight. L-carnitine’s role is to help cells break down fats to be used as energy in the body. 

To get weight loss results you need to be at a caloric deficit and burn fat molecules. 

Most of the energy your body makes is from carbohydrates like sugars from grains and fruits. However, when the body is done burning off the available sugars it starts to break down the fats instead for energy. When the body begins to break down fats is when you may begin to see a change in your weight or the way your body looks. 

L-carnitine helps with this process and that is one of the reasons it can assist you in losing weight. Since L-carnitine can stimulate the breakdown of fat it may aid in weight loss and fat loss.

What Else Can L-Carnitine Help With?

A huge benefit to the nutraceutical L-carnitine is its ability to assist with your weight loss efforts, but it does offer several other benefits that can help to support your health as well. Your heart health, fertility, and energy levels are just some of the areas that L-carnitine may help to support. 

Heart Health

Keeping your heart healthy should be one of your top priorities since without it, your body could not get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. 

Attached to your heart are vessels, arteries, and veins that act like a highway system to carry your blood through the body. Your heart and vessels are a team that must all be working properly to have the needed effect. 

There are many ways that L-carnitine can help to support your heart but one way is that it may help reduce cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is like fat and when it accumulates in the vessels it can cause a blockage that can back up the blood flow and potentially even prevent blood from getting past it at all. 

By supporting your body to keep healthy cholesterol levels it may prevent heart issues from occurring and overall support your heart health. 

Male Fertility

Some males struggle to conceive children with their partners and this can be a very discouraging and disheartening experience. There are many reasons that male infertility can occur including age, genetics, and lifestyle. 

Luckily, for some men, some things can be done to improve fertility. When it comes to semen, two things play the largest role in fertility, which are the sperm’s ability to swim (motility) and how many sperm there are total (sperm count). 

L-carnitine is actually found in semen, and when levels of L-carnitine are higher, the levels of sperm count and motility are higher as well. When L-carnitine is lower, the sperm quality decreases as well. This relationship helps to explain why L-carnitine supplementation may help men to boost their fertility. 

Energy Levels

Energy is something that is lacking in many people since there is so much to do and so little time. 

L-carnitine may help to boost energy levels through its role of contributing to energy production in the body by essentially transporting fuel for mitochondria to burn to produce energy.

By boosting energy levels it can also help to further support weight loss. A common reason for lack of exercise is not having enough energy to do it. Boosting your energy can help to push you over the hurdle and make it easier to get your exercise in and potentially allow you to enhance your endurance and work out longer than you would have been able to before. 

Boosting your energy could also simply mean having more quality time with your loved ones or getting to do your favorite hobby. 

Are There Any Side Effects of L-Carnitine?

Just like almost all other medications L-carnitine does have some side effects that you should be aware of. You will likely not experience all of these side effects, but you may experience a few. 

L-carnitine may cause gastrointestinal upset with symptoms such as abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

It also has a unique side effect of a “fishy” body odor. 

Some side effects are rarer such as seizures and muscle weakness; however, these usually occur in people that have preexisting conditions that increase the likelihood of these events occurring. 

The side effects you experience may be different than what others experience. If you notice any unwanted side effects it is best to bring them up to your healthcare provider to determine what can be done to help. 

How Do You Take L-Carnitine?

L-carnitine can be taken in several forms including oral and intravenous injection (IV). The oral route may not be as effective since it must pass through the digestive system where some of the nutrients are lost through the digestion process. Alternatively, IV-administered L-carnitine can have an increased chance of side effects, however, it is sometimes indicated. 

An L-carnitine injection is often the preferred route and can increase the amount of L-carnitine that is usable by the body. The injections can be offered via the intramuscular route, which goes into the muscle tissue, or the subcutaneous route, which goes into the fatty tissue right under the skin. 

The route that you will take will be described on your prescription and you should not interchange the routes since they are different regarding absorption.

What Is the Most Common Dose of L-Carnitine?

The dose of L-carnitine you may take will vary widely. Typically the dose of L-carnitine injections is between 600 and 2,500 mg per day. 

Your dose will be decided by your healthcare provider to help your L-carnitine levels assist you with your needs and symptoms. Your dose may also be determined by a weight-based guideline or based on your health history. 

You should always follow the dosing determined by your healthcare provider and never stop the medication abruptly or increase your dose on your own. If you feel you are not getting the appropriate results or are having unwanted side effects, reach out to your doctor to see what can be done regarding dosing.  

Conclusion

If you are looking for something that could help to boost your weight loss and more, L-carnitine may be a great option for you. It has benefits including weight loss, energy, boosting, supporting fertility, and supporting heart health.

 L-carnitine is a relatively safe injection when taken under the guidance of a medical professional. 

Elite HRT offers consultations and can create a personalized care plan to help determine if L-carnitine may be helpful to address your needs.  

Ready to get started? Click here. 

Sources:

L-Carnitine (Levocarnitine) Injection | Empower Pharmacy

Carnitine – Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health

L-Carnitine | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University