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New study finds L-carnitine supplementation aids post-exercise muscle recovery.

Results presented by authors from Spain suggest that L-carnitine supplementation may serve as an ergogenic aid​, aiding in muscle recovery and damage, especially in cases of L-carnitine deficiency. It is demonstrated that l-carnitine alleviates muscle injury and reduces markers of cellular damage and free radical formation accompanied by attenuation of muscle soreness. L-Carnitine plays a role in free fatty acid metabolism and metabolic health and is required for the breakdown of fats and glucose into energy. Decreased levels of L-carnitine have been observed during pregnancy, supplementation has been shown to help improve plasma levels.

What is L-carnitine?

L-carnitine is sometimes identified as an amino acid; however, it is really a chemical derivative that is synthesized in the human body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. This synthesizing happens primarily in the brain, liver and kidneys. The body then uses the L-carnitine to release energy from lipids or fats.

L-carnitine is also acquired through food intake and supplementing. Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products are the richest sources of L-carnitine; however, plant-based foods rich in lysine and methionine will allow the body to readily synthesize L-carnitine naturally.

Foods rich in lysine include legumes, avocado, nuts and grains. Foods rich in methionine include seaweed, spinach, sesame seeds, nuts, oats, white beans, chickpeas and corn.

Since it is present in virtually every cell in the body, and is essential for good health, L-carnitine is also approved for medical treatments.

WebMD states: “Taking L-carnitine by mouth or by IV is effective for treating L-carnitine deficiency caused by certain genetic diseases or other disorders. It’s approved by the FDA for this use.”

Study details

The new study focused on exercise-induced muscle damage. This damage encompasses both structural and functional aspects, leading to weakened strength, fatigue, muscle pain, and cramping.

The researchers noted their new study supports earlier findings that L-carnitine can serve as an “ergogenic aid” in helping offset this damage.

Exercise is known to induce oxidative stress which is characterized by an upsurge in free radical production. This is a side effect from mitochondrial activity and an increase in muscle inflammation.

Previous studies have provided evidence supporting the potential benefits of nutritional supplements, including L-carnitine, in the treatment of muscle damage. The research showed L-carnitine is not only essential for cellular energy metabolism in the muscles, but that it also acts as an antioxidant and reduces inflammation.

According to the researchers, supplementing with L-carnitine increases its levels in the blood, promoting improved blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles. This reduces hypoxic damage and speeds recovery after exercise-induced stress.

The study was a review of 15 earlier studies, including both human and animal models.

Researchers reviewed dozens of earlier studies that examined the efficacy of L-carnitine supplementation in the treatment of post-exercise muscular damage. They isolated the studies that were randomized, double-blind controlled studies with a parallel design.

Three database were used to review and qualify the studies: SCOPUSMedline, and Web of Science.

Published results

Results from all the qualified studies suggested that L-carnitine supplementation did provide positive effects on exercise performance and recovery.

In their findings the researchers wrote that the supplementation was found to “improve lipid oxidation, preserve muscle glycogen, reduce inflammation, and potentially accelerate recovery from exercise-induced muscle injury.”

One study observed that L-carnitine supplementation is effective in attenuating the signs of tissue damage induced by exercise. Additionally, one dog-model study observed that the administration of L-carnitine increased muscle contractile force by 30% accompanied by an increase in blood flow.

The researchers hypothesized that L-carnitine exerts an effect on the vascular cells surrounding muscle, and thereby increases oxygen delivery.

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Sources: Nutrients (MDPI)WebMDUniversity of Valladolid.

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Diabetes and the Vital Role of a Healthy Lifestyle

Diabetes, a chronic metabolic disorder, affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from either insufficient insulin production (Type 1 diabetes) or ineffective use of insulin by the body (Type 2 diabetes). While medical management is crucial, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is equally important for effectively managing diabetes. In this blog, we will explore the significance of a healthy lifestyle in diabetes management, its impact on overall well-being, and practical strategies for adopting and maintaining healthy habits.

  1. Blood Sugar Control and Insulin Sensitivity:

A healthy lifestyle plays a pivotal role in blood sugar control and improving insulin sensitivity, key factors in diabetes management. Regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercises and resistance training, helps regulate blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin utilization and reducing insulin resistance. A balanced diet, rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of spikes and complications associated with diabetes.

  1. Weight Management:

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for individuals with diabetes, particularly those with Type 2 diabetes. Excess body weight, especially around the abdomen, can contribute to insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet promotes weight management and reduces the risk of obesity-related complications. Losing even a modest amount of weight can have significant benefits in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the need for medication.

  1. Cardiovascular Health:

People with diabetes have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and smoking cessation can significantly reduce this risk. Engaging in aerobic exercises improves cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, while limiting processed foods and unhealthy fats, promotes heart health and helps manage diabetes effectively.

  1. Prevention and Management of Complications:

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is instrumental in preventing or managing diabetes-related complications. Consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to complications affecting various organs, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and feet. By diligently managing blood sugar levels through healthy lifestyle choices, individuals can reduce the risk of complications and slow their progression. Regular check-ups, self-monitoring of blood sugar levels, and adherence to prescribed medication and treatment plans are vital in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Quality of Life and Overall Well-being:

Beyond medical aspects, embracing a healthy lifestyle positively impacts an individual’s overall well-being and quality of life. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, boosting mood and reducing stress levels. A balanced diet provides essential nutrients, supporting optimal physical and mental functioning. Moreover, a healthy lifestyle promotes better sleep patterns, boosts energy levels, and enhances self-esteem, fostering a positive mindset and improving overall quality of life for individuals with diabetes.

Conclusion:

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an integral part of managing diabetes effectively and minimizing the risk of complications. By incorporating regular physical activity, adopting a balanced diet, managing weight, and prioritizing cardiovascular health, individuals can achieve better blood sugar control, enhance insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Additionally, embracing a healthy lifestyle improves overall well-being, boosts self-esteem, and fosters a positive mindset. Remember, with the right choices and consistent commitment, a healthy lifestyle can empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives while effectively managing diabetes.