L-carnitine is an amino acid important for metabolism and the release of cellular energy. Amino acids are the fundamental components of proteins and are necessary for many internal functions of the body. It is divided into essential and non essentials". Essential amino acids are those that the body cannot produce, but must be obtained from the diet to maintain good overall health. The body can also use amino acids to create hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, antibodies, and nutrient transporters. An insufficient supply of essential amino acids increases the body's need for non-essential amino acids. Carnitine is an amino acid that is manufactured in the body from two other essential amino acids: methionine and lysine. L-carnitine is important for fat metabolism, especially in heart and muscle cells.
It helps transport long-chain fatty acids to cellular mitochondria where they are burned and used for fuel. Rich sources of carnitine are meat and dairy, but it may be necessary to take some carnitine with your diet as it is an amino acid considered "conditionally essential."