Boost strength and endurance by optimizing carnitine levels

Sunday, September 25, 2011 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: carnitine, strength, health news

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(NaturalNews) Carnitine was originally identified in animal meat and got its name from the Latin word for flesh, "carnus." This nutrient is critical for fat metabolism and energy production in the cellular mitochondria. Boost your strength and endurance and halt the aging process by optimizing your carnitine levels.

Carnitine is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys. It is used in its most concentrated form in the heart and skeletal muscles where it plays an important role in energy production and detoxification. It is also found in the brain and male sperm cells.

L-carnitine is the bioactive form and is a derivative of the amino acid L-lysine. L-carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient. Under normal conditions our bodies produce enough. However, certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome & medication usage can reduce production making this an essential dietary nutrient.

The mitochondria is the cellular energy powerhouse. A gradual decline in energy production out of the mitochondria is a hallmark of aging. This creates a vicious circle where low energy production leads to overall dysfunction and continued lower energy production.

The higher the mitochondria energy output the better physiological health of the individual. As the mitochondria produce less energy, the energy they do create must be used for bare essential short-term survival processes. Long term health through optimal tissue repair and detoxification are impaired.

Symptoms of carnitine deficiency include a low exercise tolerance, chronic fatigue, poor exercise endurance, weakness & muscle pain. In our society these symptoms are considered "normal signs of aging." In truth, they are signs of abnormal or accelerated aging processes.

Researchers estimate that our ancient ancestors, the Stone Age hunters, consumed about 500mg of carnitine daily. They are thought to have consumed up to around 2 grams a day. The average individual in our current society takes in about 30-50 mg/day and strict vegetarians consume less than 10mg/daily.

Carnitine helps muscle cells drive energy efficiently from fat metabolism. Up to 70% of the energy produced by muscle cells (including the heart) come from burning fats. Carnitine is the gate-keeper that allows fatty acids to pass into the mitochondrial furnace effectively.

Humans can synthesize around 25% of the carnitine production needed for optimal function from the amino acid lysine and other cofactors. The rest of the carnitine must come from the diet or in the form of supplements. Organic meat, fish, raw milk, eggs, raw cheese and other animal products are natural sources. Mutton and lamb are especially high in carnitine.

Mothers milk is extremely high in carnitine. This makes great biological sense because newborns are at first incapable of producing it on their own. Plant foods contain very little carnitine. Avocados and tempeh are the richest plant foods containing about 2mg per serving.

Carnitine and long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) synergize and enhance each other's biological activity. This combination enhances the body's ability to burn fat for fuel. People with weight loss resistance are very poor fat burners and have a metabolism that is stuck in sugar burning mode. The combination of carnitine and EPA & DHA along with an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle can help switch the metabolism and rev up fat burning abilities.

Grass-fed meat sources of beef, lamb, bison, etc. are tremendous forms of both EPA/DHA and carnitine. Raw cheese from a grass-fed cow or goat is also a tremendous source of high quality carnitine. Additionally, these foods are also very high in Conjugated Linoleic Acid. These elements make grass-fed red meats excellent anti-aging foods that help us burn-fat and build muscle while optimizing mitochondrial energy production.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to

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