The Effect of L-Carnitine in Overweight Dogs

What Is L-Carnitine?

Carnitine, or L-carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is found in animal-based, not plant-based, sources of protein. It has been used to help with fat metabolism in other species and recent scientific work indicates 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 (part of the cell that converts fat into a usable form of energy) where 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 storage of body fat and the amount of fat in the blood stream.

The Effects of L-Carnitine in 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