Carnitine is an aminoacid that helps the body turn fat into energy. Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart and brain. Carnitine has been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cells and tamper with DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Some good evidence shows that carnitine can be used along with conventional treatment for stable angina. Several clinical trials show that L-carnitine can help reduce symptoms of angina and improve the ability of people with angina to exercise without chest pain.
A number of studies have found that carnitine may help when used with conventional medicines after a heart attack. They suggested that people who take L-carnitine supplements soon after a heart attack may be less likely to have another heart attack, die of heart disease, have chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms, or develop heart failure.
Some studies have suggested that carnitine can help reduce symptoms of heart failure and improve exercise capacity in people with heart failure.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Decreased blood flow to the legs from atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries — where plaque builds up in the arteries — often causes an aching or cramping pain in the legs while walking or exercising. This pain is called intermittent claudication, and the reduced blood flow to the legs is called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Several studies show that carnitine can help reduce symptoms and increase the distance that people with intermittent claudication can walk.
Diabetic neuropathy happens when high blood sugar levels damage nerves in the body, especially the arms, legs, and feet, causing pain and numbness. Some small preliminary studies suggest L-carnitine may help reduce pain and increase feeling in affected nerves. It is also possible that carnitine can help nerves regenerate.