How Carnitine Is Important Role Of Shuttling Fatty Acids
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Carnitine is a nonprotein amino acid found naturally in the body, mainly in the muscles, that is synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine (5). Not only is it found naturally in the body, L-Carnitine can be found in numerous dietary food sources including red meats and dairy, and smaller sources of this amino acid can be found in fish, poultry, asparagus, tempeh, and even peanut butter. Carnitine can also be available as a supplement in various forms including Acetyl L-Carnitine, Propionyl-L-Carnitine, and the most widely available, L-Carnitine (LC)(3). Carnitine is necessary for the important role of shuttling fatty acids, specifically long-chain fatty acids, across the inner mitochondrial membrane for beta oxidation (4).This transport system is critical since this process is rate-limiting for beta-oxidation. Thus, if this transport system is continually in motion, beta-oxidation will occur at a normal rate, allowing the fatty acid molecules to be broken down in the mitochondria to generate acetyl-CoA, and eventually ATP.
Carnitine supplementation has become increasingly popular over the years, claiming to promote fat loss, increase energy and even increase lean muscle mass. However, the need for carnitine supplementation in individuals without deficiency is widely up for debate. Until recently, few researchers have found significant evidence that substantiates carnitine feeding as a way to enhance athletic performance. Namely, research now supports evidence