Can L-carnitine cause liver damage?

What is L-carnitine?

L-carnitine is a chemical similar to an amino acid that is produced in the body. It helps the body turn fat into energy. Some people also use it for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, overactive thyroid, inability to become pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (infertility), kidney disease, and many other conditions. It aids the body’s energy production. It is necessary for heart and brain function, muscular movement, and a variety of other bodily functions.

It can improve red blood cell counts during hemodialysis. The FDA has approved the drug for treating L-Carnitine deficiency in people with kidney disease. There is mixed evidence about the effects of L-c Carnitine in treating disorders caused by low carnitine levels. It increases ovulation and the chance of getting pregnant in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. The drug valproic acid can cause liver toxicity in people who accidentally ingest or take too much. People with PCOS are more likely to be deficient in L-carnitine.

Side effects of L-carnite

Since kidneys and liver aid in the production and utilization of L-carnitine, illness in these organs or organ failure may result in L-carnitine shortage. In certain circumstances, doctors may offer L-carnitine supplementation to support kidney and liver function and prevent depletion.

Some athletes supplement with it in the belief that it will improve their athletic performance. However, research has failed to produce conclusive data to back up these claims. The availability of carnitine appears to inhibit muscle metabolism during very high-intensity exercise.

It helps burn fatty acids for energy, so some people assume that taking more of it may help them lose weight. The study found that participants who took the drug lost an average of 1.3 kilograms (2.9 pounds) more than those who did not.


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