L-Carnitine makes fasting easier and more effective

Fasting for a couple of days every so often is very healthy, but a lot of people find this really difficult. They feel hungry and tired. Doctors at the Sun Yat-Sen University teaching hospital in China discovered that supplementation with L-carnitine can help these problems. What’s more L-carnitine increases the amount of body fat you can lose through fasting.


The Chinese did an experiment on two groups each consisting of 15 obese adults. One group was given injections twice daily containing 2 grams L-carnitine for 7 days; the other group was given injections containing no active ingredients.

The Chinese chose to give injections because the body does not absorb orally administered L-carnitine easily. How to get round this problem you can read here.

All subjects started to fast on day 3 of the experiment. They ate 200 kilocalories per day, for example vegetable soup which they ate for breakfast and lunch. During the fasting period the subjects also walked for a couple of hours every day.


The L-carnitine injections speeded up the weight loss. The placebo group lost 3.2 kg, the L-carnitine group lost 4.6 kg.


The subjects in the L-carnitine group lost more centimetres from their waist measurement.


The placebo group reported an increase in feelings of hunger during the experiment. In the L-carnitine feelings of hunger decreased.


In the placebo group feelings of physical fatigue increased during the experiment and mental fatigue remained the same. In the L-carnitine group both physical and mental fatigue decreased.



“Interestingly, together with fatigue improvement, weight loss and anorexia was significantly promoted with intravenous L-carnitine administration during modified fasting therapy in our study”, the researchers write. “In addition, a reduction in waist circumference was also seen in the L-carnitine group. Based on these results, it was inferred that L-carnitine was able to promote lipolysis and contribute to preservation of lean body mass during fasting.”

L-carnitine ameliorated fasting-induced fatigue, hunger, and metabolic abnormalities in patients with metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled study.



The present study aimed to determine that whether L-carnitine infusion could ameliorate fasting-induced adverse effects and improve outcomes.


In this 7-day, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study, 15 metabolic syndrome (MetS) patients (11/4 F/M; age 46.9 ± 9.14 years; body mass index [BMI] 28.2 ± 1.8 kg/m2) were in the L-carnitine group (LC) and 15 (10/5 F/M; age 46.8 ± 10.9 years; BMI 27.1 ± 2.3 kg/m2) were in the control group (CT). All participants underwent a 5-day modified fasting therapy introduced with 2-day moderate calorie restriction. Patients in the LC group received 4 g/day of intravenous L-carnitine, while patients in the CT group were injected with saline. Blood pressure (BP), anthropometric characteristics, markers of liver function, metabolic indices (plasma glucose, lipid profiles, uric acid, free fatty acid and insulin) and hypersensitivity C-reactive protein were measured. Perceived hunger was recorded daily by self-rating visual analogue scales. Fatigue was evaluated by Wessely and Powell scores.


In contrast to the CT group, total cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase, systolic and diastolic BP did not change significantly in the LC group after prolonged fasting. There were significant differences in weight loss (LC -4.6 ± 0.9 vs. CT -3.2 ± 1.1 kg, P = 0.03), and waist circumference (LC -5.0 ± 2.2 vs. CT -1.7 ± 1.16 cm, P < 0.001), waist hip ratio (LC -0.023 ± 0.017 vs. CT 0.012 ± 0.01, P < 0.001), insulin concentration (LC -9.9 ± 3.58 vs. CT -6.32 ± 3.44 µU/mL, P = 0.046), and ?-glutamyltransferase concentration (LC -7.07 ± 6.82 vs. CT -2.07 ± 4.18, P = 0.024). Perceived hunger scores were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in the CT group during starvation, which was alleviated with L-carnitine administration in the LC group. Physical fatigue (LC -3.2 ± 3.17 vs. CT 1.8 ± 2.04, P < 0.001) and fatigue severity (LC -11.6 ± 8.38 vs. CT 8.18 ± 7.32, P < 0.001) were significantly reduced in the LC group but were aggravated in the CT group. CONCLUSION: PMID: 25424121 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC4258024 Source: http://ergo-log.com/l-carnitine-makes-fasting-easier-more-effective.html

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