AMINO ACID DEFINITION
An amino acid is a type of organic acid that contains a carboxyl functional group (-COOH) and an amine functional group (-NH2) as well as a side chain (designated as R) that is specific to the individual amino acid. Amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of polypeptides and
proteins. The elements found in all amino acids are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Amino acids may contain other elements on their side chains.
Shorthand notation for amino acids may be either a three-letter abbreviation or a single letter. For example, valine may be indicated by V or val; histidine is H or his.
Amino acids may function on their own, but more commonly act as monomers to form larger molecules. Linking a few amino acids forms peptides. A chain of many amino acids is called a polypeptide. Polypeptides may become proteins.
The process of producing proteins based on an RNA template is called translation. Translation occurs in ribosomes of cells. There are 22 amino acids involved in protein production. These amino acids are considered to be proteinogenic. In addition to the proteinogenic amino acids, there are some amino acids that are not found in any protein. An example is the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. Typically, nonproteinogenic amino acids function in amino acid metabolism.
The translation of the genetic code involves 20 amino acids, which are called canonical amino acids or standard amino acids. For each amino acid, a series of three mRNA residues acts as a codon during translation (the genetic code). The other two amino acids found in proteins are pyrrolysine and selenocysteine.
These two amino acids are specially coded, usually by an mRNA codon that otherwise functions as a stop codon.
Common Misspellings: ammino acid
Examples: lysine, glycine, tryptophan
FUNCTIONS OF AMINO ACIDS
Because they are used to build proteins, most of the human body consists of amino acids. Their abundance is second only to water. Amino acids are used to build a variety of molecules and are used in neurotransmitter and lipid transport.
AMINO ACID CHIRALITY
Amino acids are capable of chirality, where the functional groups may be on either side of a C-C bond. In the natural world, most amino acids are the L-isomers. There are a few instances of D-isomers. An example is the polypeptide gramicidin, which consists of a mixture of D- and L-isomers.
ONE AND THREE LETTER ABBREVIATIONS
The amino acids most commonly memorized and encountered in biochemistry are:
Glycine, Gly, G
Valine, Val, V
Leucine, Leu, L
Isoeucine, Leu, L
Proline, Pro, P
Threonine, Thr, T
Cysteine, Cys, C
Methionine, Met, M
Phenylalanine, Phe, F
Tyrosine, Tyr, Y
Tryptophan, Trp, W
Arginine, Arg, R
Aspartate, Asp, D
Glutamate, Glu, E
Aparagine, Asn, N
Glutamine, Gln, Q
Aparagine, Asn, N
PROPERTIES OF THE AMINO ACIDS
The characteristics of the amino acids depend on the composition of their R side chain.
Using the single-letter abbreviations:
Basic (Negatively Charged at Neutral pH): K, R
Acidic (Positively Charged at Neutral pH): D, E
Forms a Disulfide Bond: C
Aliphatic: G, A, V, L, I, P
Aromatic: F, W, Y (H also, but doesn’t display much UV absorption)
Ionizable: D, E, H, C, Y, K, R
Hydrogen Bonding: C, W, N, Q, S, T, Y, K, R, H, D, E
Contain Sulfur: C, M
Non-Polar or Hydrophobic: A, V, L, I, P, Y, F, M, C
Polar or Hydrophilic: N, Q, S, T, K, R, H, D, E
Brain stimulating amino acids
Wat is DMAE?
Dimethylaminoethanol (abbreviated as DMAE) is an organic compound that is produced in the human brain and is also found in fish like anchovies, salmon, and sardines. Medical researchers believe that DMAE increases the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that benefits the brain and the central nervous system in general.
DMAE is an amino acid which is found in small amounts in the brain. According to studies, DMAE is a crucial substance that functions as a building block for choline, which allows the brain to manufacturer acetylcholine. Research indicates that acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in the conduction and functioning of signals in the brain and the nervous system.
Other names for DMAE include DMAE Bitartrate, Deanol aceglumate, Deanol benzilate, Deanol acetamidobenzoate, Deanol bisorcate, Deanol cyclohexylpropionate, Deanol tartrate, Dimethylaminoethanol, Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate, Dimethylethanolamine, 2-Dimethylaminoethanol, and 2-Dimethyl Aminoethanol.
DMAE is used to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses associated with the brain and the central nervous system. It is also used in skin care products to reduce the signs of aging. The known and potential benefits of DMAE include:
Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD);
Boosting memory and brain power;
Improving and elevating moods;
Treating symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia;
Alleviating tardive dyskinesia due to anti-psychotic drugs used for schizophrenia;
Treating symptoms of Huntington’s Chorea;
Boosting athletic performance;
Resolving symptoms associated with autism;
Slowing the body’s production of arachidonic acid, which leads to wrinkles and signs of aging of the skin
DMAE side effects
DMAE is considered to be a very safe supplement when consumed in amounts as recommended by health professionals. It is not recommended for patients with bipolar depression, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or seizure disorders. In addition, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing unless approved by their medical doctor.
Side effects associated with DMAE are very rare and not usually serious. In a few cases, patients have reported body odor, confusion, drowsiness, gastrointestinal distress, high blood pressure, irritability, and moderate depression.
How does DMAE help brain function?
DMAE is a precursor to choline, an important nutrient that is often associated with the B-vitamin group. Choline is used by the body for many important functions, which include cell membrane integrity and the healthy functioning of neurotransmitters known as acetylcholines. According to studies, both DMAE and choline are linked to evidence that they promote optimal functioning of memory and also enhance learning abilities. DMAE and choline also promote oxygen levels in the blood, which help to boost circulation and promote healthy cell functioning both in the brain and in other parts of the body.
Consuming fish, especially salmon, sardines, and anchovies, helps to increase the level of DMAE in the body. High-quality supplements containing DMAE are also an excellent way to improve the levels of DMAE and reap the associated benefits.
How L-theanine works
There’s been a resurgence of interest in the anxiety-relieving powers of L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea.1
Discoveries over the past two years have uncovered exciting additional properties of this nutrient best known for inducing calming, tranquilizing effects while simultaneously improving alertness.
In this Research Update, we examine how L-theanine acts in the brain, and review compelling new studies on its actions that include potentially reduced risk of stroke and less brain damage if an ischemic stroke were to occur.
How L-Theanine Works in the Brain to Block Anxiety and Stress
L-theanine relieves anxiety in large part because it bears a close resemblance to the brain-signaling chemical glutamate. L-theanine produces the opposite effect in the brain.
While glutamate is the brain’s most important excitatoryneurotransmitter, L-theanine binds to the same brain cell receptors and blocks them to glutamate’s effects. This action produces inhibitoryeffects.1,2 That inhibition to brain overactivity has a calming, relaxing effect in which anxiety fades.3
In addition to blocking excitatory stimuli at glutamate receptors in the brain, L-theanine also stimulates production of the inhibitory, relaxing neurotransmitter GABA, adding to its calming, anti-anxiety effects.2
Unlike prescription anti-anxiety drugs, however, some of which mimic GABA’s effects, L-theanine produces its anti-anxiety effects without producing sleepiness or impairing motor behavior.4 In fact, L-theanine has been shown in human studies to moderately improve alertness and attention while exerting its anxiety-reducing effects.5
Of particular interest are studies showing that L-theanine supplementation prevents theabrupt rise in blood pressure that some people experience under stress.1 The reason this is so critical is that many people have normal blood pressure readings at rest that spike up to dangerously high levels when subjected to stressful situations.
These periods of surging blood pressure inflict massive arterial damage and are the main reason why at-home and at-office blood pressure testing are so important.
New Directions for L-Theanine
Scientists are now increasingly interested in applications for L-theanine far beyond its anti-anxiety properties. Excessive glutamate stimulation of brain cells (excitotoxicity) is a factor in development of long-term neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, and schizophrenia.6,7 Therefore, L-theanine’s glutamate-blocking capabilities make it promising for neuroprotection and prevention in these areas.
And while its deeper mechanisms are still under investigation, there is tantalizing evidence that L-theanine influences expression of genes in brain areas responsible for fear and aggression (amygdala) and memory (hippocampus), helping to balance the behavioral responses to stress, and potentially improve conditions such as mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance dependence.8
L-Theanine Protects Brain Cells and Promotes Cognitive Function
There’s a link between anxiety, reaction to stress, and the brain’s most fundamental function, maintaining cognition. Studies over the past two years suggest a potential role for L-theanine in supporting cognitive function and preventing its loss.
Stress has powerful negative effects on one’s ability to think clearly and make smart decisions. This is demonstrated physiologically by animal experiments showing that stress significantly reduces animals’ performance on standard tests of learning and memory, as well as by increased oxidative stress in the brain and elevated blood levels of stress-response hormones such as catecholamine and adrenaline. Treating animals with L-theanine before the stress is applied, however, results in reversal not only of cognitive impairment, but also of the elevation of stress hormones and oxidative damage.9
Studies such as these demonstrate that L-theanine can specifically reduce the molecular impacts of acute stress, and the resulting excitotoxicity, on brain cells.10,11 The issue with chronic glutamate-driven excitotoxicity is profound and long-lasting cognitive dysfunction, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).12
The protective effects of L-theanine have been shown in animal models for at least the first three of these disorders, suggesting that regular L-theanine supplementation might be important in fending off these tragic conditions by opposing the destructive effects of long-term glutamate excitotoxicity.13-16
In a rat model study for Huntington’s disease, researchers investigated the protective effects of L-theanine against 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP). Rats exposed to 3-nitropropionic acid experienced significant reductions in body weight, oxidative defenses, and locomotor activity, as well as impaired mitochondrial enzyme activity. But when exposed to L-theanine, the behavioral, biochemical, and mitochondrial enzyme activities were significantly attenuated, leading authors to conclude that “L-theanine has neuroprotective activity against 3-nitropropionic acid induced neurotoxicity.”17
Exposure to toxic chemicals is another known risk factor for many of the neurodegenerative disorders, with the metal aluminum being a major culprit.18,19 Recent studies show that L-theanine is capable of preventing both the biochemical and structural damage to brain cells induced by aluminum, offering yet another means by which this nutrient can prevent or slow cognitive decline.20
Taste the Relaxation
The molecular similarity of L-theanine with glutamic acid can be experienced simply by tasting it. L-theanine provides the umami flavor that gives green tea its richness.31 One of the more common molecules that delivers umami taste is glutamic acid, and studies show that glutamate and L-theanine both stimulate the same receptors on our tongues, in a vivid demonstration of molecular mimicry.32,33
In the brain, of course, the similarity is only close enough for L-theanine to bind to brain glutamate receptors but without stimulating them, which is why L-theanine produces relaxing, as opposed to stimulating, effects.
L-Theanine Reduces Stroke Impact
A stroke is the result of a sudden blockage of blood (ischemia) to a part of the brain, resulting in massive chemical stresses, extreme excitotoxicity, and eventual death of brain cells.21 The latest studies show that L-theanine has properties that may both help to prevent strokes and to mitigate the damage caused when they do occur.
Lab studies show that L-theanine is capable of significantly improving nitric oxide production in endothelial (artery-lining) cells.22 This has the potential to lower stroke risk because nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that endothelial cells use to communicate information about blood flow and pressure to muscles in the artery walls, telling them to constrict or relax appropriately in response and distributing blood flow appropriately.
In another stroke-preventing mechanism, L-theanine has recently been shown to significantly reduce the expression of adhesion molecules to the endothelial wall by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), thereby reducing the risk of an artery-blocking clot or obstruction that produces a stroke.23
L-theanine protects the body from the damage of blood reperfusing, or refilling that occurs after the abrupt loss of circulation during the stroke.24
This ischemia-reperfusion injury results in massive release of glutamate and produces deadly excitotoxicity.25
Animal studies show that administration of L-theanine up to 12 hours after a stroke is induced protects brain cells and reduces the size of the damaged brain areas. Even treatment as late as 24 hours after the stroke improves neurological status.24
L-Theanine May Play a Role in Ameliorating Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia, literally a “split mind” in which sufferers experience a cut-off from reality, is one of the most tragic and misunderstood disorders known. People with schizophrenia may experience positive symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoid thinking, as well as negative symptoms including loss of ability to experience pleasure, blunted emotions, and diminished speech capacity.26
Perhaps because schizophrenia may involve excitotoxic damage to brain cells, L-theanine has recently been the focus of human studies in patients with this disease.27
In one study of 40 patients with schizophrenia, subjects were given placebo or 400 mg L-theanine along with their regular medications for an eight-week trial. The supplemented patients demonstrated significant reductions in their anxiety and general symptoms of psychopathology.28
A 250 mg per day dose of L-theanine significantly improved, in a different study scores on positive symptoms, as well as in sleep quality.29 And the combination of L-theanine (400 mg per day) with the hormone pregnenolone (50 mg per day) was capable of reversing not only anxiety, but also negative symptoms.30
L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, reduces anxiety by blocking excitatory stimuli at glutamate receptors in the brain while stimulating production of the inhibitory, relaxing neurotransmitter GABA. But unlike prescription anti-anxiety drugs, L-theanine relieves stress without causing drowsiness or impairing motor behavior. In fact, studies show it improves alertness and attention. Researchers are now examining L-theanine’s applications beyond its anti-anxiety effects. Studies suggest a role for L-theanine in supporting cognitive function and preventing cognitive loss by protecting brain cells and preventing strokes and reducing the damaging effects if a stroke has occurred. Lastly, L-theanine is the subject of human studies in patients with schizophrenia.
The benefits of Tyrosine
You must get some amino acids — known as essential amino acids — from food, while others your body makes on its own. Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid your body makes from the essential amino acid phenylalanine. Low tyrosine levels are rare, but there is some preliminary research that you may need to up your intake during times of stress. Knowing the food sources of this amino acid may help ensure you’re getting what you need.
Role of Tyrosine in the Body
Without tyrosine, your body wouldn’t be able to handle stress or make important hormones. The nonessential amino acid is an essential part of many of the neurotransmitters — brain chemicals — your body needs to combat stress, including epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Tyrosine is also needed for the proper functioning of your adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands. These glands are needed to make hormones such as thyroid hormone, which helps regulate the metabolic activities of your organs, and the hormone that maintains fluid and salt balance known as aldosterone. And as a necessary component of melanin, tyrosine also plays a role in determining the pigment of your hair and skin.
Foods High in Tyrosine
Tyrosine is found in a wide variety of foods — from meats to cheese — making it easy to ensure you’re getting what you need. The amount of tyrosine you need each day is linked to the essential amino acid precursor phenylalanine — for adults, that is 14 milligrams per kilogram per day. If you weigh 180 pounds — with weight in pounds divided by 2.2 to determine kilograms of body weight — you need 1.145 milligrams of phenylalanine/tyrosine a day, about half coming from each amino acid.
Some of the best sources of tyrosine include Parmesan cheese with 559 milligrams per ounce, roasted soybeans with 1,392 milligrams per cup and roast beef with 1,178 milligrams per 3-ounce serving. Pork chops,salmon,turkey and chicken are also rich in tyrosine, with 900 to 1,000 milligrams per 3-ounce cooked portion.
Other Food Sources of Tyrosine
Even if you don’t eat foods rich in tyrosine, you’re sure to get what you need eating a varied diet. One egg has 250 milligrams and a cup of cooked white beans 450 milligrams of tyrosine. Eating 1/4 cup of peanuts can help you get 351 milligrams, and 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds yields 306 milligrams. Both diced Swiss and provolone cheese have about 500 milligrams of tyrosine per 1/4-cup serving. Grain sources of the amino acid include oats with 447 milligrams per 1/2 cup and wild rice with 139 milligrams per 1/2 cup.
Is Extra Tyrosine Beneficial?
Most people can make enough tyrosine from phenylalanine so they don’t need to worry about the amount they get from food. However, people with
phenylketonuria, an inherited disorder, can’t process phenylalanine and must avoid it to prevent brain damage. While those with PKU can’t handle phenylalanine, they still need tyrosine and are given a protein supplement that contains it. If you have PKU, you should talk to your doctor about whether you need to include foods rich in tyrosine before making any changes to your diet to prevent exposure to phenylalanine.
If you’re under stress, your body may not be able to make enough tyrosine, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and may benefit from getting it from other sources. That said, there is little evidence to support the need for extra tyrosine in the diet to help combat stress, according to a 2007 report published in Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.
What About Supplements?
You may consider adding tyrosine supplements if you’re under stress and feel your diet is inadequate to meet your needs. You shouldn’t add any dietary supplement to your regimen until you talk to your doctor, however. Additionally, you need to be cautious about using tyrosine in supplement form if you take thyroid medications, monoamine oxidase inhibitors or levodopa, due to potential interactions. Supplementation may also trigger headaches, especially in people who suffer from migraines, or cause an upset stomach. Tyrosine supplements should be avoided by people with hyperthyroidism or Grave’s disease because of its potential effects on thyroid hormone levels.
What is L-carnitine?
Carnitine is an amino acid found (the building block of proteins) in nearly every cell of the body. It is a generic name for a variety of compounds such as: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine [R].
Although chemically similar with overlapping benefits, L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine are three different supplements with different mechanisms of action and different general uses.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is generally used to improve brain functioning and cognition [R].
L-carnitine is used to increase energy levels, especially in those with disease or genetic disorders [R].
Propionyl-L-carnitine is used to increase blood circulation [R].
All forms of carnitine play a vital role in the production of energy. Carnitine helps turn body fat into energy. It also gets rid of toxic compounds from the mitochondria to prevent build up. Carnitine is produced by the liver and kidneys, and stored in skeletal, brain, and heart tissue that use fatty acids as energy [R][R2].
Those with genetic disorders, disease, vegetarians, underweight, and premature infants, need to supplement carnitine in their diet. Other conditions that cause carnitine deficiency include angina and intermittent claudication [R].
Generally, carnitine is found in meat, fish, poultry, and milk [R].
The Health Benefits of Carnitine
1-2) Carnitine as a Weight Loss Aid and Performance Enhancer
L-carnitine is often referred to as a weight loss aid. Since younger people have a sufficient amount of carnitine in the body it does not have as great of results as in older people. In older people, carnitine improves body composition. However, it may improve exercise endurance in all ages by increasing muscle carnitine levels [R].
Initial studies have found that dietary carnitine stimulates the break down of fats into energy, reduces the amount of lactic acid produced during exercise, speeds up recovery from exercise stress, prevents cell damage, and prevents cell death [R]. This may contribute to weight loss.
In a study of overweight women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, carnitine supplements reduced their weight, body mass index, and waist and hip size (circumference) [R].
One study supplemented the diets of hemodialysis patients with 1000 mg of carnitine for 12 weeks, but found no changes in leptin levels, body weight, or body mass [R].
3) Carnitine Reduces Chronic Fatigue From Disease and Aging
Just as carnitine’s ability to produce energy from fats can help boost your endurance to exercise and lose weight, it can also fight fatigue.
Fatigue is common in cancer patients after treatments from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and poor nutrition. Low carnitine levels can contribute to this fatigue. Carnitine has been seen to help improve mood and quality of
sleep while diminishing fatigue. In one study, terminal cancer patients received 250 milligrams of carnitine 3 times a day and as a result improved fatigue and quality of life [R].
Patients with kidney disease often have anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are deformed. The deformity prevents the blood cells from carrying enough oxygen to the body’s tissues, causing fatigue. A study following hemodialysis patients found that carnitine supplements reduced red blood cell deformity and increased overall red blood cell count in 3 months [R].
Another study on hemodialysis patients found that carnitine injections helped sustain higher levels of oxygen use (improved endurance), such as during exercise, and also reduced overall fatigue [R].
In a study of elderly subjects, L-carnitine treatment reduced physical fatigue, mental fatigue, or severity of fatigue. L-carnitine treatment also resulted in reduced muscle pain and improved cognitive function [R].
Feeding acetyl-l-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats synergistically and significantly improved metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress[R].
4) Carnitine Improves Mood
Carnitine’s energy-boosting abilities may also serve to reduce depressive symptoms.
Initial studies found that acetyl-L-carnitine has an anti-depressant effect in elderly patients with age-associated depression [R].
patients with fibromyalgia
A study found that supplementing the diets of acetyle-L-carnitine improved depressive symptoms and reduced muscle pain [R].
In a genetically modified mouse model of depression, consistent treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine reduced depression as determined by a forced-swim test [R, R2].
5) Carnitine Improves Cognition
Carnitine levels gradually decline as Alzheimer’s progresses, suggesting that patients with Alzheimer’s could potentially benefit from acetyl-L-carnitine treatment [R].
is produced. This neurotransmitter usually declines as memory loss advances. In this case, carnitine increases energy production and gives energy to starved brain cells which acetylcholine
L-carnitine, especially acetyl-L-carnitine improve memory in older people and in Alzheimer patients by slowing progression of the disease. By consuming carnitine, slows down memory loss [R].
In a rat model of chronic kidney disease, administration of carnitine significantly improved cognitive function [R].
In brain issues (encephalopathy) caused by liver problems (cirrhosis), carnitine was able to lower ammonia and improve brain function [R].
6) Carnitine Treats Male Infertility and Improves Sexual Function
The amount of carnitine in semem is directly related to sperm count and mobility. Therefore, an intake of carnitine can help treat male infertility. Carnitine can provide more energy for sperm cells and can reduce cell death in the testes. A study of 100 infertile men revealed that an intake of carnitine supplements increased motility in the sperm cells.[R]
In a six-month long study, married but infertile men were given an oral dose of 250 mg carnitine four times a day. Results showed increased sperm count, mobility, and concentration with an effectiveness level similar to that of varicocelectomy surgery (A Varicocele is a network of tangled blood vessels (varicose veins in the scrotum) [R ].
A build up of free radicals can be caused by infection, long sexual abstinence, harmful environmental factors, and varicocele. These free radicals damage cell structure and genetic material, and accelerates cell death. Since carnitine can be considered an antioxidant and has a neutralizing effect on free radicals, it makes sense that carnitine would improve the viability of sperm cells. This was confirmed both in cells and in organisms [R].
A study of dialysis patients found that testosterone levels were directly correlated with carnitine levels in the blood, suggesting that supplemental carnitine may increase testosterone levels and sexual function [R].
However, a study on rats showed that inhibiting the production of carnitine (and consequently lowering the overall level of carnitine) did not decrease the sexual activity or sperm quality of male rats [R ].
7) Carnitine Helps Insulin Resistance
Insulin may be related to an inability to burn fat. Increased levels of fat in lean tissue has become a sign resistance
for insulin resistance. Some research suggests that carnitine may improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing fat levels in lean tissue and muscle. Studies showed that consuming carnitine supplements provided relief of nerve pain [R].
In a study of overweight women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, carnitine supplements lowered glucose and insulin blood levels, and reduced insulin resistance [R].
8) Carnitine and Sleep Quality
heart , carnitine levels of the blood is increased because of leakage from damaged heart cells and altered carnitine metabolism [R].failureSleep-disordered breathing is associated with heart damage and altered heart carnitine metabolism. Although carnitine levels are low in heart tissue in those with chronic
Carnitine supplementation can help patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during
sleep. Carnitine helped improve airway for breathing and improved overall sleep quality for patients [R].
In a study of elderly subjects, L-carnitine treatment improved symptoms of sleep disorders [R].
However, a study on pre-mature infants suffering from apnea, a condition in which an individual stops breathing while sleeping, found no evidence that carnitine reduces apnea and dependence on mechanical ventilation [R].
A study of fibromyalgia patients also found no improvement in sleep disturbances in a group treated with L-carnitine [R].
9) Carnitine Improves Daytime Alertness in Narcolepsy patients, but L-carnitine supplements have been found to reduce narcolepsy Acylcarnitine levels are abnormally low in the amount of time patients spent dozing off during the day. L-carnitine treatment increased acylcarnitine and reduced fat in the blood [R].
10) Carnitine is Protective Against Heart Disease
and have demonstrated benefits in conditions where a weak heart fails to pump enough function, Carnitine and its derivatives protect heart blood,and oxygen to the body’s tissues. Without enough blood and glucose
oxygento meet the body’s needs, heart attack, stroke, and death can occur. Carnitine can help those with heart conditions by increasing glucose metabolism, increasing blood flow, correcting abnormal heart rhythms, and reducing toxicity [R].
A 3-year long term study on patients with heart failure found that L-carnitine increased survival rates compared to those who did not receive carnitine treatment [R].
In a rat-model study of cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart is weak, L-carnitine prevented the death of muscle cells in some parts of the heart. [R].
11) Carnitine May Slow HIV Progression to AIDS
patients develop complications such as muscle, fat, and nerve degeneration, they may benefit from carnitine which prevents cell death. In HIV positive individuals L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine HIV Because treatments increased CD4 counts, reduced cell death, prevented heart tissue damage, and reduced the amount of triglycerides (fat) in the blood [R].
L-carnitine prevents the death of white blood cells, which would help fight HIV infection. Specifically, L-carnitine treatment increased the amount of CD4 and CD8 T-cells, which are particularly helpful in fighting the HIV retrovirus [R].
An initial study on patients HIV-associated fat tissue degeneration did not find any evidence for using L-carnitine to reverse the effects of fat tissue degeneration. This study found that L-carnitine lowered cholesterol levels in the blood, but not the levels of triglycerides [R].
12) Carnitine Improves Kidney Function
In a rat model of chronic kidney disease, administration of carnitine significantly improved kidney function. Carnitine lowered the levels of creatinine and BUN in the blood, reduced kidney tissue damage and abnormal kidney enlargement [R].
13) Carnitine May Strengthen Bone
In a mouse model of osteoporosis, L-carnitine and isovaleryl-L-carnitine stimulated bone formation, improving bone turnover, bone density, bone size, and bone structure [R].
Another study found that dietary L-carnitine improved bone mineral content and bone mineral density in a female mouse model of postmenopausal bone loss. Results indicate slowed bone loss and improved bone structure [R]
Carnitine promotes bone mineralization [R].
14) Carnitine Suppresses Seizures. The more carnitine a mouse seizuresIn several mouse studies of drug-induced seizure, pre-treating the mice with L-carnitine successfully suppressed was give, the more strongly seizures were suppressed [
15) Carnitine Helps the Liver
Many studies have found that valproate and other anti-convulsant drugs reduce the body’s carnitine levels, resulting in liver damage. L-carnitine supplementation in such individuals may prevent or reduce the severity of liver damage [R].
A rat model of hyperthyroidism induced by L-thyroxine injections showed that L-carnitine has a dose-dependent protective effect against liver damage [R].
In brain issues (encephalopathy) caused by liver problems (cirrhosis), carnitine was able to lower ammonia and improve brain function [R].
16) Carnitine May Prevent Genetic Damage
In rats, carnitine had a protective effect against genetic damage, with higher doses being more effective [R].
17) Carnitine Prevents Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism can occur when thyroid hormone is overproduced. L-carnitine can reverse and prevent symptoms of hyperthyroidism [R].
18) Carnitine May Help ALS
L-carnitine suppresses the onset of neuromuscular degeneration and increases the life span of mice with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (R).
19) Carnitine Inhibits an Overactive Thyroid
L-carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell nuclei. This is relevant because thyroid hormone action is mainly mediated by specific nuclear receptors.
In one randomized trial, 2 and 4 grams per day of L-carnitine reversed hyperthyroid symptoms. In another study, L-carnitine proved usefulness in the most serious form of hyperthyroidism: thyroid storm [R].
Drawbacks/Risks Involved with Carnitine, a fishy body odor, abdominal cramps, and nausea. More severe and rarer side effects are seizures and muscle weakness for those who are prone to heart disease [R].diarrheaTaking doses at about 3 grams per day can cause vomiting,
metabolism and may promote plaque build-up in the arteries. This leads to the degeneration of artery walls, restricted blood circulation, and blood clot. These conditions would make it harder for the heart to pump blood and supply bodily tissues with enough oxygen and cholesterolSome research suggests that carnitine is metabolized into TMAO, which changes nutrients, and may cause stress to the heart, possibly leading to heart disease [R].
As mentioned, Carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell. This means that if you’re hypothyroid, it’s not a great supplement to take.
Long-term use of L-carnitine accelerates the production of reactive oxygen species in the liver and blood in mice [R].
].RL-carnitine may disturb kidney function through ion transporters in mice.