Acetyl L-Carnitine & Weight Loss

Acetyl L-Carnitine may be sold as a weight-loss aid, but you'll probably lose little more than money if you count on this supplement to shed pounds. Despite the plethora of pills and potions on the market, the only reliable way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn each day.

Don't count on L-Carnitine for weight loss. Credit: karandaev/iStock/Getty Images

The Weighty Truth

Your body naturally creates L-Carnitine in the liver and kidneys, and most people have enough without supplementation. While this amino acid does assist in converting fat into energy, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that no evidence links L-Carnitine supplements to weight loss. In addition, one study published in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" in 2000 found that L-Carnitine supplements had no weight-loss benefit among overweight women. However, it did sometimes cause nausea or diarrhea.

Serious Side Effects

In rare cases, L-Carnitine may cause dangerous side effects, such as depression, weakness, swelling, vision problems and dizziness. It may also rarely cause body odor or a tingling sensation. In addition, this supplement may not be safe for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or other medical conditions. Speak to your doctor before taking L-Carnitine or any other supplements.

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