L-CARNITINE is used in natural skin care products for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also known as carboxylic acid, It has been claimed to have miraculous properties for enhancing the metabolization of fat when taken orally.
There is research in animal studies showing it has anti-aging benefits.
According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, L-Carnitine and Carnitine’s fundamental roles in the body is the transport of long chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane into the mitochondria, where the fatty acids are ultimately broken down and converted to energy. Although it’s clear why both L-Carnitine and Carnitine oral supplements are beneficial to the body from the inside out, helping to shed fat, boost energy and build muscle.
However, given L-Carnitine’s ability to play a role in fat breakdown, it is not surprising that one of the substance’s first cosmetic applications was in contouring creams and cellulite control formulations. According to a new patent filed by a California Pharmaceutical company, “Although the exact mechanism of action of L-carnitine in alleviating skin disorders is unknown, it is suspected to be related to metabolism of the skin, which is highly lipid dependent.” It’s also thought that L-Carnitine can act as an antioxidant or anti-inflammatory, and reverse inflammation and swelling, or the appearance of puffiness. Due to these properties, L-Carnitine has been used to treat cellulite, scarring, wrinkle formation and sunburn peeling.
Skin is the body’s largest organ and conditions affecting it, such as oily skin, can impact a person’s self-esteem. Those dealing with an oily skin condition should know about promising new research which shows that when applied topically, L-Carnitine is effective in treating oily skin. The prospect of using a compound found naturally in the body is good news for those who require treatment for their oily skin condition.
Causes of Oily Skin:
The cause of oily skin is the substance sebum, which is produced in the sebaceous glands. For those with oily skin, the overproduction of sebum gives the skin an unwanted shiny, oily appearance. Genetics and hormones play a role in whether or not a person has oily skin, but diet has little or nothing to do with it.
While the L-Carnitine research offers promising treatment for oily skin, following a skin care regime may prevent or minimize the need for treatment. The goal is not to trigger the oil glands to produce yet more oil. So steer clear of products with high alcohol content or products that make skin become dryer as they will trigger the oil glands to then produce more oil.
What is L-Carnitine?
L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your liver and kidneys then stored in your muscles, heart, brain, and other tissues. Unfortunately, our bodies generally do not produce enough of this nutrient, especially those who take certain drugs like valproic acid or have undergone medical procedures like hemodialysis; therefore our bodies need to get this amino acid through other means.
Meat and dairy products are primary sources of L-carnitine, but not so much in vegetables. The nutrient is important, because it helps utilize the fat stored in your body as energy and helps your body transport toxins out of its tissues. By using up the fat stored, it allows for a quicker weight loss, which makes this very beneficial to those who are seeking to lose weight.
Toxins built up in the body often get outsourced to the skin; therefore, the more toxins that leave the inner body through other means will not go to the skin, allowing our skin to remain firm and healthy. This nutrient also benefits those who love to work out, as this will strengthen your heart and improve sport’s endurance.
Unfortunately, there are some who are more apt to be deficient in this amino acid aside from those with medical conditions, such as strict vegetarians, chronic dieters, those with anorexia, as well as low-weight or premature infants. Part of keeping us young is taking care of the inside of our body. This amino acid can do exactly that, by assisting those with congestive heart failure, heart attacks, leg pain caused by circulation problems, high cholesterol, and other heart complications.
L-carnitine is also used to help treat many of the most common diseases, including ADHD, Lyme disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue, male infertility, and leg ulcers.
By removing the toxins from your body, it can help you look and feel young.
Benefits of L-Carnitine
Even without a deficiency, an increased amount of L-Carnitine can actually help improve your overall health, especially in keeping you feeling and looking young. L-carnitine will actually help keep your skin look young, by ridding the body of toxins. The better your body functions, the less wear and tear there will be on the outside of your body as well as the inside. Although, more important than being wrinkle-free is having energy. Fortunately, there are numerous benefits to L-carnitine that will assist in keeping your body healthy.
Helps rid the body of toxins and poisons
Increases energy level
Improves brain functioning and motor functioning
Slows progressions of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Helps with depression
Helps prevent heart damage during a heart attack and assists in recovery, which lowers risk of further complications
Prevents muscular atrophy in some degenerative muscular conditions, such as cancer and AIDS
Improves sperm count, as well as speed and mobility of sperm for those with male infertility
Assists those with a hyperthyroidism, by easing symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and a racing heart
Prevents fatigue and weakness in those who are on dialysis
Increases red blood cell count in those with severe kidney disease
Improves low birth weight
Natural Sources of L-Carnitine
Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocado, Bananas, Beans, Beef, Bee Pollen, Brewer’s Yeast, Broccoli, Brussells Sprouts, Buckwheat, Carob, Chicken Breast, Cod Fish, Cooked Rice, Corn, Cottage Cheese, Eggs, Garlic, Kale, Legumes, Lentils, Milk, Mustard Greens, Oatmeal, Okra, Orange Juice, Parsley, Peanuts, Peas, Pork, Rye, Seeds, Wheat.
Meat and dairy products are the primary natural sources of L-Carnitine, although many other foods also contain lower levels of the amino acid.Cheese and other dairy products are a natural source for L-carnitine.
Side Effects of L-Carnitine
Whenever taking supplements, it is important to be informed on what amount is safe and for whom. Taking a supplement by mouth is safe for most people; even small amounts are safe short-term for children. As with most supplements, not enough is known about its safety in women who are pregnant or breast feeding; therefore, it should be avoided unless specifically approved by your doctor.
Injection supplements are also available, although should only be taken with the approval of a health professional.
Although it is encouraged and safe for those with hyperthyroidism, a person with hypothyroidism should not take it, since it can make the symptoms worse.
Another very unfortunate side effect is that those who have a history of seizures may experience an increased risk of having additional seizures due to this amino acid, which is unfortunate since it can make the side effects of seizure medications better. For this reason, you need to discuss with your doctor if you have ever suffered a history of seizures.
Dietary Interventions for Aging
The mitochondrial theory is consistent with the oxidative damage theory; it seems clearer than ever, in fact, that the two mechanisms are linked. (Let’s not forget, however, that there are other credible theories of aging, which probably has multiple causes.) Because mitochondrial function can be enhanced and free radicals can be combated, there is the possibility of finding effective nutritional strategies (among others) for fighting the aging process.
Research gives new credence to the idea that dietary supplements having a positive or protective effect on mitochondrial function—such as acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid—may be able to slow the aging process. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a derivative of L-carnitine, an unusual type of amino acid found naturally throughout the human body. L-Carnitine facilitates the transport of fatty acids—which, like glucose, are fuels for cellular respiration—into our mitochondria, thus playing an important role in cellular energy production.
Acetyl L-Carnitine is used as a supplement rather than L-carnitine itself because it is better able than L-carnitine to pass through cell walls; ALC thus serves as a vehicle for getting L-carnitine into our cells, where the L-carnitine (once liberated from the acetyl group) can then deliver fatty acids into the mitochondria.
A recent review article by scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon cites numerous studies on aged rats (which typically have declining L-carnitine levels) showing that supplemental Acetyl L-Carnitine can slow or reverse a variety of processes involved in mitochondrial decay in many different tissues.7 ALC thus serves in a number of ways to increase the capacity of the mitochondria to generate ATP—a particularly beneficial feature for heart-muscle cells, whose incessant demand for chemical energy to keep on going must be met.
Lipoic Acid Complements Acetyl L-Carnitine
Enter lipoic acid, “the antioxidant’s antioxidant.” This remarkable fatty acid is not only a potent antioxidant in its own right but serves as the linchpin in the body’s antioxidant network by regenerating the other major antioxidants. By far the most important of these, as mentioned earlier, is glutathione (which cannot be taken as a supplement because it’s destroyed in the digestive tract). Glutathione is the mitochondria’s number one defender, and lipoic acid is glutathione’s number one regenerator.