L-Carnitine Is Anti-thyroid

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    This study discusses the well-known effect of thyroid hormone on mitochondrial biogenesis, so nothing new really except the reference to the activities of the amino acid L-Carnitine on thyroid hormone uptake:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19929720

    "...Also, the effect of TRIAC (a stimulator of thyroid hormone nuclear receptors) and L-Carnitine (an inhibitor of thyroid hormone passage into the nucleus) was examined."

    After seeing this, I immediately remembered Ray's articles on the beneficial effects of various "carnitine antagonists", especially the drug called Mildronate. Since L-Carnitine is found in very large quantities in meat but much smaller in milk, this may be another reason why Ray favors milk and seafood to meat. Here is more info from the Wikipedia page confirming L-Carnitine's anti-thyroid activity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitine

    "...A 2004 study found that L-carnitine acts as a peripheral antagonist of thyroid hormone action. In particular, L-carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell nuclei."

    And here is the study describing in more detail the effects of L-Carnitine:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15591013

    Note that raising thyroid activity will help deplete the cells of L-Carnitine:
    "...Since hyperthyroidism impoverishes the tissue deposits of carnitine, there is a rationale for using L-carnitine at least in certain clinical settings."

    After reading through all of this I find it hard to believe that L-Carnitine is not only freely sold as a single dietary supplement, but is currently all the rage in Paleo circles for "fat loss" and "boosting energy".
     
  2. j.

    j. Guest

    Don't you mean easy to believe? Because that would be consistent with everything, as everything is upside down.
     
  3. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    If I was a smart man (I am not), and was selling a supplement (I am) I would try to base it on some sort of research:): In the case of L-Carnitine the only thing that it seems to have going for it is a couple of old studies from the 1980s and 1990s published by Bruce Ames in California claiming that the combination of L-Carnitine and alpha lipoic acid rejuvenated old rats. Even if the studies are legit, it is not even clear if the effect was caused by L-Carnitine or lipoic acid. In the case of L-Carnitine all I am getting from Paleo friends is "but it works bro, everybody is taking it". Mind you, some of them are biochemists...
    Another thing I wonder is if people go to school to learn something or to just memorize a bunch of crap that they can use to get a job. Don't bother answering that last question, I am surrounded by "experts" every day.
     
  4. j.

    j. Guest

    They're put into a stressed state (through deadlines, threats of expulsion, a bad resume due to a bad grade). In this state they are less able to reject bad ideas or behaviors that enforce bad habits, and many stay in that messed up state forever.

    Sometimes trying to quit the behavior would cause monetary loses which many are unwilling and even unable to suffer.
     
  5. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Haha, I tell you man if you want a real cold morning take half gram of Carnitine. Really the only benefit is allowing more acetylcholine in the brain. Ray Peat wouldn't call that a benefit, of course.
     
  6. Wilfrid

    Wilfrid Member

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    @haidut,

    You are right L-carnitine is a strong thyroid inhibitor.
    As for the «boosting energy effect», I can't figure out why this stuff is very usefull to treat very ill patients ( mostly cancer having ones) to overcome fatigue and/or cachexia, L-carnitine is an inhibitor of thyroid hormones and ,as such, it should put those weak people into a more fatigued and hypothyroid state, as severy ill people have often ( if not always) a strongly underactive thyroid and very compromised (that the least to say for people fighting cancer) metabolism; this stuff should therefore aggravate their condition, even if they are deficient in the first place ...yet, it's not.
    Especially since some of the studies below show a dose dependent effect (ie the higher dose, sometimes up to 4g/day, the better effect on fatigue, for example.) on the patient.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3063878/

    Cruciani RA, et al. L-carnitine supplementation in patients with advanced cancer and carnitine deficiency: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Pain Symptom Manage. (2009)

    Cruciani RA, et al. L-carnitine supplementation for the treatment of fatigue and depressed mood in cancer patients with carnitine deficiency: a preliminary analysis. Ann N Y Acad Sci. (2004)

    Gramignano G, et al. Efficacy of l-carnitine administration on fatigue, nutritional status, oxidative stress, and related quality of life in 12 advanced cancer patients undergoing anticancer therapy. Nutrition. (2006)

    Cruciani RA, et al. Safety, tolerability and symptom outcomes associated with L-carnitine supplementation in patients with cancer, fatigue, and carnitine deficiency: a phase I/II study. J Pain Symptom Manage. (2006)
     
  7. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Wilfrid

    Wilfrid Member

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    I think that the acetyl-L-carnitine would be probably more effective if one, especially when sick, wants the acetylcholine «boosting» effect you are refering to.
    But I was talking about L-carnitine specifically, not ALCAR, for very sick patients who often suffer from nutrional deficiency (vitamin C being one of them) and, as you surely know, L-Carnitine, the one we are talking here, must be acetylated to form Acetyl-L-carnitine, and both hydroxylase enzymes in this process are Vitamin C dependent and deficiencies of vitamin C impair carnitine biosynthesis. To make it short, L-Carnitine could have finally a «boosting effect» through the enhancement of acetylcholine formation in the brain, which remains speculative to me when refering to severy ill people, or L-Carnitine may be able to increase glucose disposal somewhat, and can probably increase insulin sensitivity in people with impaired glucose metabolism (for which is often the case for cancer patients).This point is very intriguing as we all know, thanks to Ray, the crucial role of thyroid in the process of proper glucose metabolism, because L- Carnitine is a strong thyroid inhibitor.(ie the subject of this topic)
    L-Carnitine seems also having, beside the acetylcholine stuff, anti-inflammatory properties which also may explain its effect on the overall «positive» health effects on those patients.
    But, I agree with you, L- Carnitine is surely acting like cholinergics drugs, which stimulates the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system and thus enhancing the release of the growth hormone ( which Ray strongly advocates against.), and it's probably safe to avoid taking it as much as possible.
    Thanks for the graph, by the way, it makes things easier to understand for me :D
     
  9. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    That's interesting! Maybe that's why they also benefit from megadosing vitamin C? But the carnitine has been given as one of the heart damaging aspects of red meat. I actually get drunk on meat when I eat more than two pounds at once! Very dopaminergic feeling. Alcar should be unable to raise acetylcholine above safe limits but still it's the wrong philosophy for dealing with dementia, as Ray Peat often says.
     
  10. Suikerbuik

    Suikerbuik Member

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    Not sure if alpha lipioc acid is any better, it may interfere with the conversion of T4 into T3..

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1815532

    These results demonstrate that LA interferes with the production of T3 from T4 when it is co-administered with T4. The elevated level of T3, after T4 administration, is reduced by treatment with LA.
     
  11. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I only mentioned lipoic acid b/c the website FPS has it listed as a "promoter of efficient metabolism". Look at the first chart in this link:
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/1 ... ow-charts/

    Personally, I am not taking it and have not read anything on Peat's opinion of it.
     
  12. gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    It's been touted as a reason to eat more meat. As usual, Peat is right.
     
  13. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    It's probably also touted as a reason to be vegan :mrgreen:

    Edit: forget the heart-carnitine thing, the whole idea was built on wet sand. I do enjoy Chris Masterjon's articles about this stuff, very thorough. He actually adds something to the debate.
     
  14. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    Bump. Carnitine is used in beta-oxydation of fatty acids to feed the citric acid cycle. Maybe that is why the cancer patients responded to carnitine supplementation. From the Wiki page

    I'm not sure what to make of the T4->T3 inhibition if it isn't quantified. But it seems that taking extra T3 if that is part of a person's routine would mitigate the problem.

    I haven't been able to find anything from Ray saying ALA is bad, and he did include lipoic acid in a list of beneficial things. I'm interested in rectifying low glutathione, which is a sulfur molecule. The sulfur has to come from somewhere, right?
     
  15. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Low glutathione is pretty easily replenished by taking 10g of glycine and 10g of NAC for about 2 weeks. Here is the study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21795440

    I took it and it gave me a good boost in energy as well as the ability to drink as much as I could i my early 20s without getting a hangover:):

    Btw, the same regimen above is also used in people with HIV and other chronic viral conditions:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24081740
     
  16. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Isn't that a lot of NAC? I remember someone calculating a human equivalent of seven grams to cause pulmonary hypertension. I usually make sure to take it only in advance of a stress, like during the week for example. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16439183
     
  17. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    It's possible, I guess. I have seen warnings about NAC given IV and causing pulmonary hypertension. However, I have not seen any warnings about oral NAC. Also, the dose was split during the day into several intakes, and all the patients in the first study were elderly. If oral NAC has some bad effects I would imagine that it would have manifested at least in some of the elderly patients. None of them had side effects...
    But it is a good warning. I would start with 3g/3g and then slowly tetrate up from there.
     
  18. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    Thanks haidut and SS. I think NAC has the same T4->T3 issue. I've been taking regular amounts of both ALA and NAC for a week, and Lord knows I get enough glycine. I'm gonna take some extra T3 and not worry about it for a month or so.
     
  19. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yes, NAC is a known thyroid inhibitor and Peta has written about it. But it is also a known liver anti-dote, especially in cases of acetaminophen poisoning. So, it has its uses. Eggs are very rich source of cysteine btw, so combined with other aminos in a full protein it can't be that bad. Ray is a fan of eggs provided they are taken with enough sugar.
    Also, eggs raise glutathione like no other protein out there and are often used in alternative medicine circles for that purposes.
     
  20. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Shouldn't a little NAC be better than ingesting food rich in the sulfur aminoacids? I also tried liposomal glutathione but of course the doses were limited by price.
     
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