L-Carnitine, is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and is needed to release energy from fat. It transports fatty acids into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. In infancy, and in situations of high energy needs, such as pregnancy and breast-feeding, the need for L-carnitine can exceed production by the body. Therefore, L-carnitine is considered a "conditionally essential" nutrient.
L-Carnitine is found extensively in muscle, predominantly in skeletal and heart muscle. L-carnitine aids in the removal of short and medium chain fatty acids from the mitochondria which accumulate during normal metabolism. Clinical studies have indicated that L-carnitine maintained healthy cardiac enzymes including lipid peroxides and lactate dehydrogenase. In combination with other cardiovascular support agents, L-carnitine supported ventricular function and superoxide dismutase enzyme activity in human volunteers. Long-term L-carnitine supplementation indicated positive support for cardiovascular health after a 3-year follow-up in adult subjects.*