Visceral belly fat is one of the toughest fats to lose once you’ve got it, and it causes numerous health problems. Once you begin to gain visceral fat around the belly, it will lead to fat gain within the organs such as the liver, the heart, or even in muscle. Fat gain in the liver leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, while epicardial fat is a type of visceral fat that is deposited around the heart and is considered a metabolically active organ, altering heart function.
Raising your carnitine levels will fight this visceral fat gain because it increases fat burning, which has the effect of taking triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins out of the system so that they don’t build up causing high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. A new research study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology illustrates this.
Researchers gave a carnitine supplement to mice who were fed a high-fat diet in order to make them gain weight. In comparison to a group of mice fed a placebo, the carnitine group gained substantially less visceral and subcutaneous fat (fat that is right below the surface of the skin that you can pinch with your fingers). The placebo group exhibited the beginning stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis, neither of which were evident in the carnitine group.
Treatment with L-carnitine significantly reduced mortality 5 days after randomization but did not significantly affect the risk of heart failure or death at 6 months. The authors of a 2013 meta-analysis combined the results from this trial with those from 12 smaller trials. They concluded that treatment with L-carnitine in patients experiencing an acute myocardial infarction reduces all-cause mortality by 27%, ventricular arrhythmias by 65%, and angina by 40% over a median follow-up period of 2 months, but does not reduce the risk of heart failure or recurrence of myocardial infarction.