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What Is L-Carnitine Fumarate?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2014
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L-carnitine fumarate is a dietary supplement widely used as a weight loss aid, energy booster, and supporter of cardiac, neurological and muscular function. The supplement is a combination of L-carnitine and fumaric acid, both of which purport to have several health related benefits. L-carnitine is a well-known supplemental amino acid with antioxidant and metabolism boosting qualities. Fumaric acid is an element of the Krebs or citric acid cycle which allows cells to produce energy. In combination in L-carnitine fumarate supplements, the two elements are believed to complement and enhance their beneficial qualities.

Dietary supplements which possess claimed weight loss, energy, and performance boosting qualities have become hugely popular, and L-carnitine fumarate is no exception. Based on the beneficial characteristics of its two active ingredients, the supplement may offer a wide spectrum of value for those whose natural intake or production of carnitine and fumaric acid is lacking or compromised. Deficiencies in both elements are not uncommon, and the often rushed and questionable nutritional quality of modern day diets does little to aid in restoring a balance. Although dietary supplements such as L-carnitine fumarate should never be viewed as a replacement for a healthy diet, they can be of great value in boosting natural levels of the essential elements they contain.

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To better appreciate the value of L-carnitine fumarate, it is necessary to understand the function of both its main active ingredients. The first, carnitine, is a naturally occurring amino acid responsible for the intercellular transport of fatty acids essential for effective metabolism and energy production. When it operates efficiently, this process ensures adequate energy, promotes good cardiac and neurological health, aids in cholesterol control, and may promote a natural process of weight loss. Carnitine is found in a variety of food types including red meat, nuts, and seeds, legumes and pulses, green vegetables, fruits, and bran; red meat is the strongest single source. L-carnitine also shows promise as a pharmaceutical agent in the treatment of cardiac conditions, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, and male infertility.

Fumaric acid or fumarate is an important intermediate agent in the Krebs or citric acid cycle; this is an organic chemical reaction that converts protein, carbohydrates, and fats into usable energy. Fumarate is a byproduct of the body's urea cycle and is also produced in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. When combined with carnitine in supplement form, the metabolism support offered by fumaric acid may be enhanced, and with both elements gaining some additional efficacy as a result. Although many of the claims regarding the results achieved with L-carnitine fumarate are unproven, the marriage of the two elements is a logical one with considerable potential. As with all supplements, L-carnitine fumarate should only be used under a doctor's supervision.

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