Losing weight, losing weight is one of the most common tasks not only for fitness enthusiasts but for most people in general. This can be asserted at least from the point of view of statistics, which says that in developed countries, 2/3 of the population are overweight.
And although the dialectic of weight loss suggests that the number of calories consumed should be less than expended, i.e. it is corny, you need to eat less and also do fitness in an amicable way – this is the only way to use the accumulated reserve body fat – but, nevertheless, such a class of nutritional supplements as fat burners is still in high demand among people trying to lose kilograms. (Only a few are engaged in fitness … but many want to lose weight! ☺)
How carnitine works
One of these “fat-burning” supplements – both safe and popular, of course, is L-carnitine. It is a vitamin-like substance that activates the metabolism of fat and thus reduces its accumulation in the body.
And although without training L-carnitine will not be able to “burn” anything (you still need to engage in fitness), nevertheless, there is an indirect value in its intake. Which one? More on this below…
As stated, the point of any weight loss (fat) program is to eat less. This, in fact, is called a diet and it is actually the hardest to do. I will not go into the psychology of the issue, I will not talk about willpower, etc., in fact, it is difficult to “keep” a diet. Difficult for everyone – both motivated athletes and ordinary people. It’s just that each has its own ultimate strength, it is different for everyone, but after it comes “scrapping”. Be that as it may, and any restriction, including diet, is, by and large, not physiological, for the body it is tension and stress. It is, of course, hard to be in such a state all the time … and, probably, harmful.
Nevertheless, if there is an opportunity to somehow reduce the discomfort from adhering to a diet, then, of course, it is quite reasonable to use this. As it turned out, L-carnitine can act as such an assistant and facilitate the task of “keeping” the diet. How this happens is reported in one study by Chinese scientists (Sun Yat-Sen University), the results were published in the Nutritional Journal in 2014.
Study of the effects of carnitine during a “fast” diet
The study involved patients with metabolic syndrome (overweight). The patients were 35-55 years old, they were both men and women. Their body mass index (BMI) was 27-30 kg / m2 (weight 70-80 kg). The patients were treated with the so-called Fasting Diet (literally, “starvation” diet), which involves a 5-day low-calorie meal (in this case, it was only 200 kcal/day) and normal calorie intake on the rest of the month. The patients were divided into two groups of 15 people each according to a random principle. One of the groups received L-carnitine supplementation twice daily for 2 g (LC group), the second group was the control group, she received a placebo (CT group). The study lasted 7 days, the first two days of which were on a regular diet (700-800 kcal), from the third day, 5 days of Fasting Diet (200 kcal) began. Exercise in the study involved 2-hour daily walks. The patients were monitored according to anthropometric parameters (weight, waist volume), blood biochemistry parameters (glucose, lipid profile, insulin, etc.), as well as by such indicators as hunger and the degree of fatigue – physical and mental.
It is clear that such dietary manipulations (fasting for 5 days !!!) had predictable results – both total body weight and waist volume decreased in both groups. In the L-carnitine group, this decrease was slightly greater, but there is nothing extraordinary here because L-carnitine is a “fat burner”. More interesting are the indicators of how much L-carnitine alleviated the severity of the proposed dietary restrictions.
Carnitine and hunger
The FIRST such indicator is the feeling of hunger. It was evaluated by patients on a daily basis. They were asked to set points from 0 to 10 and determine how much they want to eat (0 – they don’t want to at all, 10 – they want very much). See the results of this indicator below (graph no. 1). Black dots – LC group, white – control group.
It is quite predictable that in the control group the feeling of hunger had a persistent increase with the duration of the diet (5.80 / 6.01 / 6.27 / 6.40 / 6.20). But in the L-carnitine group, the feeling of hunger decreased and was also significantly lower than in the control group (3.57 / 4.14 / 4.07 / 4.14 / 3.47).
Carnitine and Fatigue
The SECOND indicator, which is interesting from the point of view of maintaining dietary restrictions, is physical and mental fatigue (fatigue). The Wessely and Powell scales were used to assess these types of fatigue. They are questionnaires that include several variables that correspond to the general state of health. These variables, as in the case of hunger, are evaluated from 0 (min) to max and then summed up. The final results of fatigue indicators on graphs 2 and 3, respectively.
Physical fatigue in the control group (ST) increased by the end of the 5-day diet, while patients in the L-carnitine group, on the contrary, stated a decrease in this type of fatigue.
Mental fatigue in the control group did not change significantly. The L-carnitine group showed a significant reduction in mental fatigue by the end of the 5-day fast.
The theoretical substantiation of the effect of carnitine
As you know, L-carnitine is a transport shuttle that transports fatty acids (FA) into mitochondria (Mx) for their subsequent oxidation inside these organelles and obtaining energy in the form of ATP. The reason for both the feeling of hunger and both types of fatigue can be the lack of ATP energy, which is experienced with dietary restrictions.
Supposedly, additional amounts of L-carnitine optimized the production of energy ATP from the body’s reserve fats and thus reduced the overall energy deficit in the body, and with it hunger, and both types of fatigue.
Bottom Line: Carnitine May Help Reduce Hunger
To summarize again, L-carnitine supplementation is beneficial in weight loss programs. But, L-carnitine can help not only directly in fat burning, but also on a larger scale – withstand the “severity” of adherence to dietary restrictions. To do this, you can suggest taking the L-Carnitine Protocol, as in this study, and taking it twice a day (presumably for 2 years), the first time in the morning, the second time in the second. If there is a workout on this day, then, perhaps, one of the L-carnitine methods should be rationally done BEFORE training and use its standard fat-burning properties.
PS. In conclusion, we can outline two more supplements, which, just like L-carnitine, will help “keep” the severity of dietary restrictions.
The first of these is the amino acid TRIPTOFAN. The principle of this supplement is due to the fact that Tryptophan is converted to Serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone of happiness and pleasure. In part, our desire to eat is due to the fact that we enjoy (increase Serotonin) from food. This happens through an increase in the transport of Tryptophan to the brain through the hormone Insulin. Insulin rises from an increase in blood glucose, which appears after eating.
There are studies in which additional amounts of Tryptophan reduced the desire to eat. The level of “happiness” was already above par and the desire to increase it with food was declining.
The second of these supplements is BCAA amino acids. Their principle of action is due to a decrease in appetite through a hormone such as Leptin. Leptin is secreted by adipose tissue and acts on receptors in the brain to signal “satiety”. There are studies that say that BCAAs exerted similar signaling to Leptin’s brain receptors, while hunger was reduced.
Good luck and be healthy!