What Are the Benefits of Taking L-Carnitine?

The main benefit of taking L-carnitine is to help the body produce more energy, according to WebMD. People also take L-carnitine for kidney disease, when having an L-carnitine deficiency, for chest pain, heart failure and hypothyroidism.

Studies have shown that the main benefit of taking L-carnitine is to treat serious kidney disease as it can help to raise the red blood-cell count, states WebMD. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved L-carnitine for those with severe kidney disease undergoing hemodialysis. It is also approved for those suffering from an L-carnitine deficiency that is caused by genetic disease.

L-carnitine is used to treat heart and blood vessel conditions such as congestive heart failure, circulation issues, heart-related chest pain, heart attack, high cholesterol and heart complications caused by diphtheria, explains WebMD. L-carnitine is also used to treat anorexia, an overactive thyroid, leg ulcers, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Some use L-carnitine as a solution for muscle disorders related to certain AIDS medications. The typical supplemental dosage for a L-carnitine deficiency is 990 mg taken orally two to three times daily.

There is also a possibility that L-carnitine can be beneficial when treating a number of other conditions, explains WebMD. For instance, chest pain may be reduced by taking L-carnitine by mouth. This also helps to improve exercise ability. In addition, L-carnitine may help to treat the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as nervousness, weakness and pounding heartbeat. Male infertility may also improve by taking L-carnitine as it can help to increase sperm count and movement. It is also possible that L-carnitine may help those who have myocarditis, and it may help those who experience bad side effects from a seizure medication known as valproic acid.

The body produces L-carnitine to assist in brain, muscle and heart function, and its energy-producing attribute is used to enhance endurance and athletic performance, according to WebMD. Side effects of L-carnitine supplements include vomiting, nausea, seizures, heartburn and stomach upset. L-carnitine can also cause body fluids to change odor. Children may be able to take L-carnitine supplements in appropriate dosages, and it is not recommended for pregnant women. L-carnitine seems to increase the risk of seizures, especially with those who have had seizures before.