L-Carnitine is a nutrient that carries fatty acids to cells and is very important in helping cells produce energy. It is mainly produced in the liver and kidneys. The highest concentration of L-Carnitine is found in meat and chicken – the redder the meat, the higher the amount.
Cats deficient in L-Carnitine can develop heart disease, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy and skeletal muscle problems.
Symptoms of deficiencies include muscle pain, enlarged heart (dilated cardiomyopathy), heart muscle failure, inability to exercise.
A study of the metabolic effects on the body of L-Carnitine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has found another benefit attributed to the nutrient.
It was discovered in the study that cats receiving supplements of L-Carnitine had improved metabolism. Another positive result was that fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) which can occur in dieting cats, did not happen. Fatty liver disease often occurs in cats that lose weight too quickly. Never put a cat on a crash diet.
L-Carnitine is not a substitute for putting an overweight cat on a diet, but it can help your cat to lose weight safely. It is still recommended for your cat to lose weight slowly.
Consult with your veterinarian on the amount of L-Carnitine to supplement and to make sure your cat is on the proper diet.
Note: Humans and dogs benefit as well from L-Carnitine.
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