How L-Carnitine Can Help Your Dog Lose Weight

What Is L-Carnitine?

Carnitine, or L-carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound made in the body from amino acids. It's found naturally only in animal-based protein sources. It has been used to help with fat metabolism in other species, and recent scientific studies show that it can help reduce weight in overweight dogs.
 

How Does L-Carnitine Work?

This water-soluble substance attaches to fatty acids, transporting them into cellular mitochondria, the part of the cell that converts fat into a usable form of energy. There, they are broken down through oxidation and converted to energy for all tissues, including the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles. Through this process, carnitine helps reduce the storage of body fat and the amount of fat in the bloodstream.
 

L-Carnitine and Overweight Dogs

In a study conducted by The IAMS™ Company, overweight dogs were fed similar diets. One group was given a diet supplemented with L-carnitine while another group received a diet without supplemental L-carnitine.
After seven weeks, the group that received the diet without supplemental L-carnitine lost 1.8% body weight compared to 6.4% body weight loss from the group that was fed the L-carnitine supplemented diet. Likewise, body fat was reduced in each group by 2.4% and 4.6%, respectively.1 Thus, L-carnitine promotes loss of body weight and body fat in overweight dogs.
 
1 Sunvold GD, Tetrick MA, Davenport GM, Bouchard GF. "Carnitine supplementation promotes weight loss and decreased adiposity in the canine." Proceedings of the XXIII World Small Animal Veterinary Association. p. 746. October, 1998