In the strictest sense L Carnitine is not an amino acid, but a substance related to the B vitamins. However, due to its chemical structure, which is similar to those amazing amino acids it is usually considered together with them.
It's primary role is to help transport fatty acids into the energy producing units in the cells - the mitochondria, where they can be converted to energy. This is a major source of energy for the muscles, including those of the heart. As such, carnitine increases the use of fat as an energy source.
Carnitine is manufactured by the body if sufficient amounts of iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, lysine, and methionine are available. Carnitine also enhances the effectiveness of antioxidant vitamins C and E.
Carnitine is often referred to as a protein-like substance or a vitamin-like substance.
A carnitine derivative – an ester called acetyl-l-carnitine is thought to slow the aging of the brain as well as other nerve cells.