A common diet pill ingredient, carnitine is an amino acid that is required for the trasport of fatty acids and for the generation of metabolic energy. ((http://en.wikipdeida.org/wiki/carnitine)) Hence, the obvious attraction from the diet pill companies is due to this idea of turning fat into energy. While it’s true that carnitine does, in fact, play an essential role in fatty acid transportation, does this directly translate into weight loss? This review will help us find that out.
One study showed that “At the dose prescribed in this study carnitine supplementation did not improve weight loss outcomes in valproate-treated bipolar patients consuming an energy-restricted, low-fat diet.” ((Bipolar Disord. 2006 Oct;8(5 Pt 1):503-7.)) It’s important to note also that the dose used in the study was 15mg per kg per day (this is a very high dosage, much higher than you’ll see in any diet pill).
While there isn’t very much research regarding carnitine’s weight loss capabilities at all, here’s another study that I found by the University of Maryland Medical Center:
“Although L-carnitine has been marketed as a weight loss supplement, there is no scientific evidence to date to show that it improves weight loss. A recent study of moderately overweight women found that L-carnitine did not significantly alter body weight, body fat, or lean body mass. Based on the results of this one small study, claims that L-carnitine helps reduce weight are not supported at this time.“
While little research has been done on carnitine’s weight loss abilities, the little that there is isn’t supportive of the claims. As it stands now, carnitine isn’t likely to help you at with weight loss. Thumbs down for carnitine. We await more research.