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Carnitine Tartrate

L-carnitine tartrate is the purest form of l-carnitine available. It is an amino acid produced naturally by the body to help burn fat and increase circulation. The overall effect of its use within the body is to produce energy. It is thought to be used for muscle movement, as well as brain and heart function.

Because of the way acetyl l-carnitine is used throughout the body, it is also used as a vitamin or dietary supplement. Studies have indicated that l-carnitine tartrate may be effective for treating memory and nerve pain problems for the elderly, those with alcohol dependence, and those with diabetes.

Benefits of Amino Acids

There are a surprising number of potentially helpful effects of taking supplementary l-carnitine, however most scientists agree that the body tends to produce the proper amounts of the amino acid. There are some studies that have shown individuals to have a deficiency, but these are isolated and rare cases, or are a result of medication use. In general, l-carnitine supplements should only be taken with your doctor's approval.

Because l-carnitine is thought to help improve memory as well as improve muscle tone and burn fat, it is used widely as a dietary supplement. Intravenous use of l-carnitine seems to produce immediate, short term improvement in blood flow to the brain in people who have poor circulation in the brain. Some testing has been done with patients who have Alzheimer's disease, but results tend to benefit those with early onset Alzheimer's disease, under the age of 66.

There is no daily recommended dosage, but if you are using acetyl l-carnitine for a specific medical condition, your doctor should instruct you on how much to take and how often to take it. Dosage tends to fall within 1500mg – 3000mg daily, taken in more than one dose throughout the day. For men with fertility issues, the dosage is higher, but depends on body weight and age.


The only contraindications for the use of l-carnitine are to do with specific diseases and conditions. If you have ever had a seizure, you should avoid using l-carnitine. For people with a history of seizures, the use of L-carnitine has produced an increase in the seriousness and number of seizures, whether taken intravenously or orally.

Additionally, if you have an under-active thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism, l-carnitine tartrate may interact with the hormones produced by the thyroid and could have a negative effect. If you know you have hypothyroidism, it is best to avoid taking additionally l-carnitine tartrate as a supplement.

Lastly, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is best to avoid taking l-carnitine tartrate. While no studies have shown it to have positive or negative effects, there is just not enough known about the reaction of babies to additional l-carnitine. To be on the safe side, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are advised not to take the supplement.

Side Effects Reported

Overall, there are very few side effects of l-carnitine. Most adults can take it safely, but should check with their doctor to ensure they do not have a condition that would indicate a negative reaction. New studies and tests are conducted all the time, and it is possible that your doctor will know more about amino acid interactions than you do.

The only reported side effects, which are relatively rare and occur only in some patients, are upset stomach, restlessness, nausea, and vomiting, as well as urine, body odor, and breath that smells somewhat fishy. Because of the increase of blood flow to the brain, it may also cause you to have trouble falling asleep if taken to late in the afternoon.


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Research Studies

Effects on Heart Function
Influence on Hippocampus
Fatigue and Carnitine
Acetyl-l-carnitine for Dementia