Carnitine

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L-Carnitine, also called beta vitamin, is a derivative (amino acid) that can also be produced in our body in muscle tissue or can be obtained by eating meat (in general, red meat is richer in carnitine).

L-Carnitine plays an important role in the cellular metabolism of fats and that is why it is preferable to consume this derivative in the form of a nutritional supplement to make weight loss more efficient.
 




What role does Carnitine play in the body?
Carnitine plays an important role in energy production because it transports fatty acids into the mitochondria (also called the "energy factories of the cell") of the cells in our body. In order for our body to produce Carnitine in sufficient quantities, we need a lot of vitamin C.

The first stage in the degradation of fats in cells is the hydrolytic one (with the formation of fatty acids) and takes place in the cytoplasm. Glycerol and long-chain fatty acids are formed at this stage. Glycerol (formed in small amounts from fats) is further metabolized through the final reactions of glycolysis, followed by the Krebs cycle.

About 98% of the body's carnitine stores are in muscle mass and small amounts are found in the blood and liver.

The final stage of catabolism of long-chain fatty acids (beta-oxidation or the cellular combustion stage, with the formation of carbon dioxide, water and the generation of energy in the form of ATP) occurs only in the mitochondria (the energy factories of the cell).

In order to couple the two catabolic steps, a carrier (a carrier molecule, a means of molecular transport) is needed to pick up the fatty acids from the cytoplasm and carry them inside the mitochondrion. This carrier molecule is L-carnitine. The acyl group (fatty acid residue) is transferred from acyl-coenzyme A (the form in which it appears in the cytoplasm) to carnitine, forming acyl-carnitine.

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