L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid and can be used as a supplement and a vital nutrient. It transports fatty acids into the mitochondria of your cells, which function as an engine to convert fats into energy [1, 2]. L-carnitine is produced in your liver and kidneys from two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine [3]. 

L-carnitine supplementation improves heart health, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and overall well-being, but it's best known for helping people lose weight. [4,5].

Keep reading to learn how taking L-carnitine daily may help you shed unwanted pounds and where you can get it.

L-Carnitine Boosts Metabolism

Efficient metabolism will significantly promote weight loss because you can burn more calories while resting. In addition, supplementing with L-carnitine effectively boosts your metabolism by transporting fatty acid chains into the mitochondrial matrix, allowing cells to metabolize fat and derive energy from it [6]. 

L-Carnitine Aids in Burning Fat

L-carnitine is an excellent choice for weight management. It works by triggering your body to burn more triglycerides. With L-carnitine supplementation, your body has a greater affinity for using fatty acids (triglycerides) as an energy source rather than carbohydrates, reducing fat in your body. This decreases the amount of fat your body stores and helps reduce visceral belly fat, which surrounds your vital organs and can lead to fatty liver disease and other serious health problems [7].

According to the research of nine studies, most of which involved obese or older adults, taking L-carnitine resulted in an average weight loss of 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) [8].

L-Carnitine Enhances Insulin Response

In addition to speeding up the fat-burning process, L-carnitine also improves insulin response. This balances glycogen levels by reducing carbohydrate use, the same as using more body fat. Research studies show that L-carnitine significantly reduces body weight, BMI, and fat mass [9]. 

L-Carnitine Enhances Energy for Workout

When you take L-carnitine supplements, amino acids are used less as an energy source. This makes them more bioavailable for protein synthesis. Thus, more availability of amino acids enhances muscle growth and energy levels for a better workout and an improved active lifestyle [10].  

L-Carnitine Helps Muscle Recovery

L-carnitine helps keep your muscles from getting too full of lactic acid. After a hard workout, your muscles hurt and feel tired because lactate builds up. L-carnitine helps get rid of lactate so you can recover faster and get back to the fat-burning exercise that is such an essential part of your weight loss plan. Studies also show that L-carnitine may improve blood flow, which could slow down the breakdown of muscles and reduce signs of metabolic stress [11].

Where You Can Get L-Carnitine

The common food sources for L-carnitine include meat, fish, poultry, and milk. You can also get L-Carnitine in supplement form. To get benefits for weight loss, take one capsule every day as a dietary supplement before or after a meal.

The Bottom Line

L-carnitine is an amino acid crucial for transporting fats to the mitochondria and turning them into energy the body can use. L-carnitine is naturally present in meat, but you can also take it with a high-quality, tested, and effective L-Carnitine supplement. Besides a healthy lifestyle, supplementing with L-carnitine may help with weight management. It may help to boost metabolism and burn fat. It may also enhance your energy levels and increase your ability to work out better; thus, you can conquer those weight loss goals earlier.


  1. Flanagan, J. L., Simmons, P. A., Vehige, J., Willcox, M. D., & Garrett, Q. (2010). Role of carnitine in disease. Nutrition & metabolism7, 30. 
  2. Foster D. W. (2004). The role of the carnitine system in human metabolism. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1033, 1–16. 
  3. Pekala, J., Patkowska-Sokola, B., Bodkowski, R., Jamroz, D., Nowakowski, P., Lochynski, S., & Librowski, T. (2011). L-carnitine-metabolic functions and meaning in humans life. Current drug metabolism12(7), 667-678.
  4. Gianfrilli, D., Lauretta, R., Di Dato, C., Graziadio, C., Pozza, C., De Larichaudy, J., ... & Lenzi, A. (2012). PropionylLcarnitine, Larginine and niacin in sexual medicine: A nutraceutical approach to erectile dysfunction. Andrologia44, 600-604.
  5. Ferrari, R., Merli, E., Cicchitelli, G., Mele, D., Fucili, A., & Ceconi, C. (2004). Therapeutic effects of lcarnitine and propionyllcarnitine on cardiovascular diseases: A review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1033(1), 79-91.
  6. Pekala, J., Patkowska-Sokoła, B., Bodkowski, R., Jamroz, D., Nowakowski, P., Lochyński, S., & Librowski, T. (2011). L-carnitine--metabolic functions and meaning in humans life. Current drug metabolism12(7), 667–678. 
  7. Pooyandjoo, M., Nouhi, M., ShabBidar, S., Djafarian, K., & Olyaeemanesh, A. (2016). The effect of (L) carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews17(10), 970-976.
  8. Pooyandjoo, M., Nouhi, M., Shab-Bidar, S., Djafarian, K., & Olyaeemanesh, A. (2016). The effect of (L-)carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity17(10), 970–976. 
  9. Askarpour, M., Hadi, A., Miraghajani, M., Symonds, M. E., Sheikhi, A., & Ghaedi, E. (2020). Beneficial effects of l-carnitine supplementation for weight management in overweight and obese adults: An updated systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacological research151, 104554.
  10. Owen, K. Q., Jit, H., Maxwell, C. V., Nelssen, J. L., Goodband, R. D., Tokach, M. D., ... & Koo, S. I. (2001). Dietary L-carnitine suppresses mitochondrial branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase activity and enhances protein accretion and carcass characteristics of swine. Journal of Animal Science79(12), 3104-3112. 
  11. Huang, A., & Owen, K. (2012). Role of supplementary L-carnitine in exercise and exercise recovery. In Acute Topics in Sport Nutrition (Vol. 59, pp. 135-142). Karger Publishers.
January 05, 2023 — MD Logic Health