l carnitine for dogs

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L-Carnitine Benefits for Dogs

If you're a fitness enthusiast or health junkie, there's a good chance you might have heard of L-Carnitine. Humans have been using L-Carnitine as a weight loss supplement and way of enhancing athletic performance for years, but did you know that L-Carnitine can be beneficial to dogs that need help managing their weight as well?

What is L-Carnitine?

You might be thinking what exactly is L-Carnitine? L-Carnitine is the active form of carnitine, an amino acid that the body uses to transform fat into energy. “L-carnitine is able to be synthesized in the hepatic and renal systems of humans and dogs, this is not possible within the cardiac or skeletal muscle and thus L-carnitine is either absorbed from the diet or biosynthesized by other tissues” (Verney et al. 1).

In terms of diet, L-Carnitine can be found in animal-based protein sources such as meat, fish, poultry, and milk. In general, the redder the meat, the higher levels of L-Carnitine. With the body and specific ingredients working together to produce and synthesize L-Carnitine, you may be thinking that it is possible for a dog to have too much L-Carnitine. Well, you don’t have to worry about that. Your dog will excrete any excess L-Carnitine.

How does L-Carnitine Work?

In order to best explain how L-Carnitine works, we need to delve into the science of it. 
Using lysine and methionine, your dog’s liver, brain and kidneys work to produce L-Carnitine (Varney et al). Carnitine then attaches to long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) and transports them to the mitochondria (those tiny powerhouses you learned about in biology class) of the cell. There, it is converted into ATP, the chemical energy source of the body. To sum things up simply, Carnitine plays an essential role in energy production.

Benefits of L-Carnitine in Dogs

As mentioned previously, a major benefit of L-Carnitine is that it helps the body be more efficient at using fat for energy. However, L-Carnitine also helps maintain lean muscle mass in many ways (hence the love from the fitness community). In other words, L-carnitine can positively affect “activity intensity, body composition, muscle recovery and oxidative capacity” (Varney et al. 1).

For owners, managing your dog’s weight can be very challenging because every dog’s metabolism is different. Just like with humans, genetics, exercise, nutrition, age, and gender all play a role in your dog’s metabolic formula. Another important factor is diet. Fortunately, when it comes to your dog, this is in your control. So, if you are hoping to maintain your dog’s weight and keep them active, buying dog food containing L-Carnitine could help.

L-Carnitine can be found in the animal-based proteins included in AvoDerm Natural® weight control formulas.

Sources

Varney, Jessica L., et al. “Utilisation of Supplemented l-Carnitine for Fuel Efficiency, as an Antioxidant, and for Muscle Recovery in Labrador Retrievers.” Journal of Nutritional Science, vol. 6, 2017.

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