Published: 07/02/2010 - Updated: 08/14/2019
A large proportion of people who practice sports, usually do it with the aim of helping the body to lose or maintain weight. Although obvious, it is important to mention that the key factor while controlling weight is not just practicing physical exercise, but monitoring the caloric diet adjusted to the body's energy needs, i.e., exercise is worthless if you eat then for example, twice the energy you really need.
Thus, once clarified that the basis for weight control, is diet and physical exercise, it is noteworthy that there are natural substances that promote the utilization of fat as an energy source by the body, such substances are known as lipotropic factors or fat-burners.
Among the various lipotropics factors highlighted by its effectiveness, there are L-carnitine, inositol, choline and methionine.
Carnitine, also known as vitamin Bt, was discovered in 1905 as an essential component of meat extract, which gives rise to its name. The L-carnitine is now considered a vitamin-like nutrient and is even classified internationally along with 13 vitamins.
Daily sources of carnitine are confined mostly in foods of animal origin, particularly meat. Consequently, a vegetarian diet is low in carnitine. Moreover, such a diet is low in lysine and methionine that are two amino acids required for the manufacture of carnitine in the body.
Carnitine acts as a receiving and storage substance for the fatty acids. Thus, L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in the breakdown of fats for energy production. The mitochondrias are the location in the cell where energy is produced. Fatty acids, by themselves, are not able to penetrate the wall of the mitochondria, but to do so, require the intervention of the L-carnitine.
While the diet usually provides enough of L-carnitine, have been described certain physiological situations in which the contribution of carnitine to the diet is inadequate. In cases such as those listed below, it is recommended to make an extra contribution of L-carnitine supplements through a specialized diet.
- Children: because in the early stages, the developing of its own manufacturing capacity is not fully developed.
- Vegetarian Diets: The amount of L-carnitine is taken low
- Aging: there is a difference due to lower production by the body and reduced food intake.
- Weight control programs
The mechanisms that explain how carnitine promotes weight loss, are:
- Carnitine helps convert fatty acids into energy
- Supports the burning of fat in the liver and muscle systems
- Reduces the decline in blood sugar and hunger
- Increases strength and stamina while carrying out a diet and reduces the phases of weakness that can lead to abandonment of the scheme.
- Promotes protein synthesis
- Reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver during weight loss.
- Prevent hunger during the conditions of strict regime
Lipotropic factors: choline, inositol and methionine
Choline and inositol are substances which are among the main components of the phospholipids. Its role is to serve as carriers of fatty acids.
Choline interacts with inositol to promote the use of fats and cholesterol and prevent accumulation inside the cells.
In addition, choline in the liver is combined with fatty acids and lecithin to form phosphoric acid.
For its part, the inositol is another member of the vitamin B complex and an lipotropic important factor. Combined with choline and fatty acids to form lecithin and promotes the metabolism of fats and cholesterol.
Another component is lipotropic methionine and is an essential amino acid. Methionine is an additive interactions with the choline and results in detoxification and mobilization of liver fat, making them available to cells throughout the body as an energy source. This action, along with the ability to influence cholesterol levels, converted to methionine in a good lipotropic factor as an adjunct in the care and prevention of overweight and overload situations of lipids to the liver.
It is important to remember that our body is unable to produce methionine, choline or inositol, but we have to introduce daily diet or supplements to the diet adequate.
Lipotropic products or fat-burners
Now we explain a little more about the different types of dietary supplements available in the market, providing lipotropic factors and characteristics.
Carnitine Tablets: are tablets containing 500 mg of carnitine pure, equivalent to 860 mg of carnitine fumarate. It is recommended to take two tablets on an empty stomach two hours before training. Especially recommended for people who want to lose weight and control the line, athletes with muscle definition programs, and vegetarians or people who eat little meat.
Liquid form: there may be in liquid form, 30 ml containing 2000 mg of fat burners and lipotropics factors. Each vial provides 1000 mg of pure L-carnitine, choline 500 mg and 500 mg of inositol. The presentation in individual vials facilitates consumption for the athlete who wants a product lipotropic sporadically.
The combination of the three lipotropic factors allows for a synergistic effect. On the one hand, choline and inositol help mobilize fatty acids and carnitine facilitates their access to the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell.
Tablets of carnitine, inositol and methionine: the recommended dose adjuvant in controlling weight is of three tablets a day.
Source: GSN Sports Nutrition