While I was going through Chemo I was advised to take L-Carnitine starting 2 days after treatment and up until my next treatment to help with low energy and reduce the possibility of neuropathy. I didn't feel overly fatigued, despite a dense dose regimen. Consult a nutritionist before taking this supplement if you are in treatment.
L-Carnitine is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm.
Usually, your body can make all the L-carnitine it needs. Some people, however, may not have enough L-carnitine because their bodies cannot make enough or can' t transport it into tissues so it can be used. It has been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant.
The best food sources of L-carnitine are red meat (especially lamb), poultry and dairy, so individuals eating healthier diets with limited intake of these foods tend to have lower L-carnitine intake. Smaller amounts are found in fish, tempeh, asparagus, avocado and peanut butter. Diet alone can be insufficient to meet L-carnitine needs in states of depletion.
EFFECTS OF L-CARNITINE:
- Lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol
- Inhibits seizures [De Vivo et al., 1998; Igisu et al., 1995]
- Helps protect the liver in patients taking Accutane and anti-seizure drugs
- Improves memory, attention and cognitive function; helps protect against brain injury and promote brain repair, particularly in the Acetyl-L-carnitine form [Igisu et al., 1995]
- L-carnitine inhibits the activity of excess thyroid hormone and reduces symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- Prevents cardiomyopathy induced by adriamycin (doxorubicin) [Anselmi et al., 1993; De Leonardis et al., 1985; Neri et al., 1983] without interfering with the anticancer efficacy of the drug nor promoting tumor growth [Peluso et al., 200 :347].
- Human studies have proven carnitine's value in supporting energy production and reducing symptoms in patients with congestive heart failure, diabetes, and lung diseases.
- Improves athletic performance and exercise tolerance.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Some people find L-carnitine upsets their stomach. Take with a meal to reduce this side effect.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: Use only under a doctor’s supervision if you have kidney disease or are on dialysis.