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L-Carnitine is synthesised in the liver and kidneys derived from Lysine and Methionine. Conversion also requires adequate Iron, B6, B3 and Vitamin C, so individual deficiency in these cofactors may result in impaired conversion. In a normal individual, consuming a normal diet the body should produce sufficient Carnitine to make up for any shortfall in dietary intake. L-Carnitine plays a role in energy metabolism.
Its energy-releasing role comes from its function as an intra-cellular transporter of fatty acids; it carries activated fatty acids into the mitochondria for oxidation, and carries bi-products out of the mitochondria. This is of particular significance to tissues that have a greater dependency on fats as their energy source, especially skeletal and cardiac muscle groups.
It is thought that only 16% of ingested Carnitine is absorbed. The body is able to adapt its absorption of Carnitine in response to intake, so people on low Carnitine diets (such as vegetarians) exhibit greater absorption than those on high Carnitine diets (such as meat eaters).
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