Carnitine : Using Fat For Fuel

Carnitine is similar in structure to a vitamin or amino acid, it is a compound formed from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Although it is basically an amino acid, it’s not directly used to synthesise tissue e.g. muscle. Instead, Carnitine is used in the muscle cell to liberate energy from fatty acids! Your bodies preferred energy source is carbohydrate, so if you can help to shift your bodies preference from carbs to fat momentarily then you increase your chances of burning body fat. Carnitine is most commonly found in meat and dairy products, but it can also be synthesis inside the body from lysine and methionine.

Carnitine aids the transport of long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria (energy manufacturing warehouses) and muscle cells. Carnitine binds to long chain fatty acids enabling it to enter the mitochondria where it can be used as an intermediate in the electron transport chain. During this process the fatty acids are converted to Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)…the main source of energy to the body (Llewellyn, 2009).

carnitine optimum health


Llewellyn, W. (2009). Sport Supplement Reference Guide. Carnitine. FL: Molecular Nutrition   

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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