When you look at it’s list of of benefits it sounds almost too good to be true. But it turns out for seniors and for folks with type-2 diabetes, there’s one amino acid supplement that’s a serious multi-tasker.
We’re speaking of l-carnitine whose many study-backed benefits include…
- Improving physical and mental fatigue
- Helping to maintain muscle strength
- Raising levels of the enzymes needed to metabolize carbohydrates
- Delivering omega-3 fatty acids to cell mitochondria
- Sharpening cognitive function
- Helping to protect cells from damage – especially heart cells
And now, there’s evidence of four more ways l-carnitine improves heart health for type 2 diabetics.
L-carnitine reversed oxidative stress in diabetics
Research is finally catching up with the work of the late Dr. Brian Leibovitz. He wrote the first book on l-carnitine more than 20 years ago. In fact we think Dr. Leibovitz would be quite pleased with the Italian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The Italian team recruited 81 type 2 diabetics and randomly divided them into two groups. For three months group one took two grams of l-carnitine daily and group two took a placebo. The objective was to assess the effects of l-carnitine on oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Type 2 diabetes patients suffer from high oxidative stress. And, in fact, it’s the true culprit behind cholesterol’s so-called link to heart disease.
The results were quite stunning…
- Decrease in oxidized LDL levels was five times greater in the l-carnitine group compared to placebo
- Decrease in LDL levels was significantly greater in the l-carnitine group
- General oxidative stress plummetted in the l-carnitine group
- Triclyceride levels were also lowered in the l-carnitine group
L-carnitine levels drop as we age
The good news is your body produces a natural supply of l-carnitine. But the bad news is that supply decreases as you age.
You can raise your l-carnitine levels by eating more meat, chicken, fish, and dairy products. But your body only absorbs about a quarter of the l-carnitine supplied by food. So you might want to consider trying a supplement.
If you talk to your doctor and decide that an l-carnitine supplement might be beneficial for you, keep this tip in mind from Healthier Talk contributor Allan Spreen, M.D. Dr. Spreen says you shouldn’t take l- carnitine (or any other amino compound supplement) with a high-protein meal.
Dr. Spreen: “There are a limited number of receptors for protein substances (protein foods are composed of amino acids), so the supplement you paid good money for will be ‘diluted’ by the presence of other proteinaceous substances in the digestive neighborhood. That is not true of most other supplements, which should be taken with food.”