L-carnitine is an amino acid, naturally produced in the body, that assists the body with converting fat into energy, explains University of Maryland Medical Center. It is especially important for proper brain and heart function as well as muscle movement, according to WebMD.
L-carnitine is produced in the liver and kidneys and then stored in the heart, brain, sperm and skeletal muscles, states UMMC. In cases where L-carnitine levels are low, the body is either unable to produce adequate amounts or lacks the ability to transport L-carnitine where it needs to go. L-carnitine is proposed to treat a wide array of ailments because it functions like an antioxidant. L-carnitine is used to treat ailments that include congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, diphtheria, heart attack, infertility, anorexia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, overactive thyroid and Lyme disease, states WebMD.
Additionally, L-carnitine is used to enhance excise performance, although UMMC stipulates that there is no scientific evidence to support this. Evidence indicates that L-carnitine reduces angina symptoms and allows angina patients to exercise without experiencing chest pain. Further potential uses include utilization as a replacement supplement for dieters or low-weight infants, as WebMD explains. Possible side effects include stomach upset, vomiting and nausea, diarrhea and seizures.