Carnitine and tyrosine are both naturally occurring substances that you can obtain from foods. Tyrosine is found in turkey, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and dairy products, while you can obtain carnitine from red meat, poultry and milk. Both are also available in in supplement form. While there is no particular danger from taking both together, as with any supplements, you should consult your doctor before taking either or both.
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Carnitine is found in most of the cells in your body; it is derived from amino acids -- the building blocks of protein molecules. It plays a very important role in energy production by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria of your cells where they are oxidized and used for energy. It then removes any toxic by-products. Most produce sufficient carnitine; however, due to certain genetic disorders, or the use of antibiotics, carnitine supplementation may be needed. While carnitine is often promoted as an aid for weight loss, to improve exercise performance and enhance a sense of well-being, there is no consistent evidence that supports these uses, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, which your body makes using other amino acids. This means that there isn't a particular need to consume any extra tyrosine in your diet. However, in some rare cases, tyrosine supplementation is needed. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some people can't process phenylalanine -- the amino acid used to make tyrosine -- properly, leaving them with a tyrosine deficiency. Tyrosine production can also decrease under conditions of stress and sleep deprivation. Some athletes claim that tyrosine helps their performance; however, there is no proof that this claim is true or safe, notes the UMMC. Additionally, although tyrosine is sometimes promoted as a treatment for depression because it helps the body produce the mood-influencing chemical dopamine, studies have found that it has no effect on this condition.
Unless you have a specific condition these affects your carnitine or tyrosine levels, you should be able to obtain all you need from consuming a variety of animal and plant-based protein sources. If your doctor gives you his approval to take carnitine and tyrosine supplements, sports nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth," advises taking between 250 and 1000 milligrams of the supplement form of L-carnitine, and 1000 milligrams, divided into two to three daily doses, of tyrosine.
While there are no specific risks from combining carnitine and tyrosine, as with any supplements, there are potential risks from taking them. Always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements, and always purchase them from a reputable supplier. Make sure you do not exceed the recommended dosages, as printed on the bottles. Taking too much carnitine can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bring on seizures in seizure patients. A tyrosine overdose can trigger headaches and migraines. If you feel ill when taking either supplement, stop taking them immediately.