The medicinal benefits of L-carnitine include natural hormone regulation
01/16/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

L-carnitine isn't just for losing weight, as patients with diabetes might find them beneficial for managing the condition, according to researchers. A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine found that L-carnitine can help regulate hormones, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease the metabolic effects of diabetes.

For the study, researchers at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in Iran looked at the antioxidant property of L-carnitine on serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, and testis oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Diabetes causes problems in sex hormones and increases production of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Then, they treated the diabetic mice with 50, 100, or 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of L-carnitine every day for seven weeks. After the treatment period, the researchers measured the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, total antioxidant capacity, malondialdehyde, glutathione, catalase, mitochondrial function, protein carbonyl, and reactive oxygen species.

The treatment with L-carnitine at the lowest dose caused increases in follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone levels. The treatment with 100 and 200 mg/kg of L-carnitine experienced a reduction in malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species. Only the highest dose (200 mg/kg) of L-carnitine increased the activity of glutathione, catalase, total antioxidant activity, and mitochondrial function. These results indicated that L-carnitine has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and regulate hormones by reducing lipid peroxidation and increasing antioxidant enzymes.


The researchers concluded that L-carnitine, especially at a dose of 200 mg/kg, can be used to increase antioxidant enzymes, improve mitochondrial function, and reduce oxidative stress markers in diabetic people.

L-carnitine and its other benefits

L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is responsible for the production of energy by sending fatty acids into the cell's mitochondria. It is also available as a dietary supplement. It also has many potential benefits to the body:

  • It is good for the brain: L-carnitine, particularly acetyl-L-carnitine, can be beneficial to the brain, according to animal and human studies. The acetyl form may help improve markers of learning, prevent age-related mental decline, and even reverse the decline in brain function associated with Alzheimer's disease and other brain diseases. (Related: How Acetyl-L-Carnitine prevents Alzheimer's disease and dementia while boosting brain function.)
  • It is good for the heart: Some research suggests that L-carnitine can potentially lower blood pressure and the inflammatory process associated with heart disease. L-carnitine has also been associated with improvements in patients with severe heart problems, such as coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure. Moreover, it can reduce heart failure and cardiovascular deaths. A 12-month study observed a reduction in heart failure and deaths among participants who took L-carnitine supplements.
  • It boosts athletic performance: A recent review of studies published in the journal Nutrients supports the performance-enhancing benefits of L-carnitine. Researchers at Tufts University looked at human clinical trials from the past few decades where L-carnitine supplementation was used in post-exercise recovery. The results revealed that L-carnitine supplementation was associated with reduced muscle soreness and injury. It also increased blood flow. All of these effects contribute to recovery.

Should you take L-carnitine supplements? If so, how much?

The levels of L-carnitine in the body depend on how much you consume through food and how much your body produces. L-carnitine is found in small amounts in meat and fish, and since vegetarians and vegans limit or avoid animal products, their L-carnitine levels are lower. The recommended dose of L-carnitine supplements for most people is 500 to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day.

Read more news stories and studies on natural supplements like L-carnitine by going to

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