GBB – The Forerunner of L-Carnitine
PreCar contains gamma-butyrobetaine (GBB), which is a direct precursor to the very important molecule L-carnitine. GBB’s potential as a supplement lies squarely in its ability to elevate the body’s own production of L-carnitine. Studies suggest that this conversion is very efficient, meaning that taking 750mg of GBB is essentially equivalent to taking 750mg of supplemental L-carnitine.
A Factor in Good Health
In the body, carnitine plays a key role in energy production. Specifically, it is involved in the breakdown of fatty acids and their transport into the mitochondria to be used in the production of cellular energy. This makes L¬carnitine essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism, which is critical for avoiding disorders such as Metabolic Syndrome, Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others. Carnitine has also been shown to benefit individuals with kidney and liver problems, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The main dietary source of carnitine is red meat, so health conscious vegetarians are often deficient in this essential nutrient. Furthermore, as we age, carnitine levels in the cells decrease. Without enough carnitine the cellular powerplants, or mitochondria, begin to fail, which is an important contributor to the aging process. PreCar is an effective and efficient way to elevate L¬carntine levels in the body.
Gamma-Butyrobetaine as an L-Carnitine Pre-Cursor
Gamma-butyrobetaine (GBB) is a precursor of the amino acid L-carnitine. The potential of this biochemical gem lies specifically in its ability to efficiently increase the body’s own production of L-carnitine. Clinical studies have clearly demonstrated that GBB dramatically increases endogenous L-carnitine production. In fact, one study conducted on infants (saying much about GBB’s safety) increased plasma carnitine concentrations by more than 300%. In another study using adult subjects, GBB increased carnitine excretion by nearly 40-fold. Finally, a mouse study determined that gamma-butyrobetaine supplementation equaled exogenous L-carnitine supplementation in the ability to raise L-carnitine levels in all tissues.
The Importance of High L-Carnitine Levels
L-carnitine is an amino acid synthesized by the body or obtained from red meat – particularly lamb. L¬carnitine deficiency is thus quite common among vegetarians or those who avoid red meat. L-carnitine plays a central role in the breakdown of long-chain fatty acids and their transport into the mitochondria for oxidation and use in the production of cellular energy. This makes L-carnitine essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism, which is critical for avoiding many age and lifestyle-associated disorders like Metabolic Syndrome, Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others.
L-Carnitine - The Research
Human studies have shown L-carnitine supplementation to be beneficial in wide variety of situations including anorexia nervosa, athletic performance, angina, heart disease, high cholesterol, heart attack recovery, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis, HIV, hyperthyroidism, liver health and renal failure. L-carnitine use is even recommended by the National Kidney Foundation for the alleviation of anemia associated with chronic renal failure. Anemia is a symptom targeted by L-carnitine in anorexia nervosa patients as well, improving weight gain, physical performance and appetite in combination with adenosylcobalamin (a cofactor of B12).
One of its primary benefits is for the support of heart health, and numerous clinical trials back this up. For example, L-carnitine increased walking time for peripheral vascular disease patients by nearly 80%. Long-term supplementation among patients of heart failure have produced improvements in ejection fraction, cardiac performance, peak VO2 consumption, blood pressure, and cardiac output. This is in addition to decreasing the mortality rate among myocardial infarction survivors by 12.5% after a year of L-carnitine supplementation at 4 grams daily. L-carnitine has also been shown to be efficient at reducing triglyceride levels in patients with hyperlipidemia.
L-carnitine has long been theorized to have energy-enhancing, fat-loss, and athletic performance-enhancing properties, but these abilities remain controversial. However, studies examining L-carnitine’s effects on chronic fatigue syndrome have been successful. In one such study 8-weeks of supplementation with L¬carnitine resulted in significant improvements of CFS symptoms, with far fewer negative side effects than the drug amantadine, which was poorly tolerated.
L-carnitine has also been linked to liver health, particularly through its ability to control serum ammonia levels. In fact, studies with hepatic encephalopathy patients have confirmed this ability along with the ability of L-carnitine to improve mental function in this condition. L-carnitine supplementation has also been studied in HIV-positive patients, where it was found to effectively enhance/protect immune function.
Finally, hyperthyroidism and male infertility have also been subjects for L-carnitine supplementation. In one study, daily doses of 2 grams for 6 months prevented and reversed symptoms of hyperthyroidism. L-carnitine has also been linked to increased sperm counts, and has been shown to successfuly increase both sperm count and motility.
The efficiency of gamma-butyrobetaine in its conversion to L-carnitine in the body is such that it can adequately serve as a substitute for exogenous, supplemental L-carnitine with regard to any of the aforementioned conditions.