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L-Carnitine and Energy (and Fat Loss to Boot!)

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:13am
When I wrote Natural Cures I talked about the heart healthycombination of Carnitine and CoQ10and in my book on natural ways to boost energy (coming in January) I talked about the same pairing, calling L-Carnitine and COQ10 an "energy cocktail" (OK forgive me for being a little less than rigorously scientific here, but "energy cocktail" is a good shorthand).

Now a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows thatL-Carnitinedoes indeed reduce both physical and mental fatigue and increase cognitive function, at least in older people.

The researchers actually tested centurians aged 100-106 (!) who reported fatigue after even the slightest exertion (OK, let's give them a break, they're over 100!). The researchers gave half the group 2,000 mg of L-Carnitine and half the group a placebo.

After 6 months the Carnitine group experienced a reduction in physical fatigue, a reduction in mental fatigue, a reduction in fatigue severity and better cognitive function scores. Not only that, get this, they also experienced a significant reduction in fat mass and gains in total muscle mass. And their walking capacity improved as well.

Even though there isn't a ton of research on Carnitine and weight loss, many clinicians routinely use it for this purpose. Nice to know that fat loss (and muscle gain) was a "side effect" of this study on cognitive function and fatigue! (Not a bad side effect, if you ask me.)

Now granted, most of the readers of this newsletter are younger than 100. So we have to do a little extrapolation from the research and play "connect the dots".

But if this highly fatigued population benefited significantly in so many ways (more energy, less fat, better cognition) from 2,000 mg of Carnitine a day, it stands to reason that it might be helpful, don't you think?

The study- "L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centurians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial"-- appeared in the Am J of Clinical Nutrition 2007 Dec; 86(6): 1738-44. You can getcarnitine in the powder form(easy to take) or in combination withCoQ10.
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