Does Carnitine Supplementation Make Sense

There are several rationales behind why carnitine might be a promising ergogenic aid. These reasons are related specifically to its proposed metabolic actions of being capable of transporting long-chain FAs into the mitochondria for utilization. The assumption is that more is better, and the more carnitine available for biological work, the more FAs that can be utilized for energy. To be more specific, this rationale is used to argue that there will be more FA oxidation since this oxidation is carnitine dependent, and that this will spare muscle glycogen. In addition, since carnitine promotes fat utilization, supplementation will then be successful in altering body composition to favor decreases in fat mass and aid in weight loss. Other rationales include increasing maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), activating the PDC via the acetyl-CoA:free CoA ratio, replacing carnitine lost during exercise or redistributed to acylcarnitines, and, finally, allowing muscles to become more resistant to fatigue. All of these scenarios seem plausible and have been extensively researched as to their efficacy.

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