Carnitine is a compound derived from an amino acid that plays an important role in the production of energy in the human body. Its name is derived from the Latin word "carnus" meaning flesh.
Carnitine is most highly concentrated in cardiac and skeletal muscle. This is because these types of muscles utilize fatty acids as dietary fuel, and it is the function of carnitine to transport fatty acids into the cell's mitochondria in order to be oxidized, or burned for fuel. It also transports toxic byproducts of the oxidation process out of the cell to prevent accumulation. Healthy human bodies produce enough carnitine on their own, therefore, it is not necessary to consume carnitine as a dietary supplement.