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Nutritional Facts

THE BENEFITS OF L-CARNITINE FOR YOUR CANINE

Categories: Nutrition

nutrition health benefits l carnitine dogs

As pet parents, we want to provide our dogs with the best nourishment to enhance their health and well-being. We do this by monitoring the diet, exercise and changing energy levels in our pets. L-carnitine plays a key nutritional role in maintaining the health of our four-legged friends. L-carnitine has shown improved exercise performance, as well as higher lean mass, improved muscle recovery, and less oxidative stress during strenuous exercise.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Carnitine “is derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all cells of the body and plays a critical role in energy production.” Its vital function is to “transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria (part of the cell which converts fat into energy), so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle (a subunit within a cell) to prevent their accumulation.” L-carnitine promotes both healthy weights and energy levels and linked to improved liver function and brain health in dogs.

Although L-carnitine is naturally produced in the body, it can also be found in foods, such as milk, fish, and poultry; but its highest levels are in red meat. The source of L-carnitine used in Do Only Good Pet Nutrition products comes from a renown Swiss biotechnology company which has a patented vegetarian L-carnitine nutrient supplement for both humans and animals. However, just taking a supplement does not guarantee that it is absorbed by the body and therefore creating a positive physical outcome. This degree of absorption is known as bioavailability. In other words: Does taking a supplement like L-carnitine have a keen, biological effect on the health of our pets? According to a 2017 article in the Journal of Nutritional Science, it does.

After extensive research and controlled testing on Labrador retrievers (those given L-carnitine supplements and those who were not), the scientists concluded:

“Supplementation of L-carnitine had positive impacts on the performance and recovery of Labrador retrievers in both experiments. Findings from the studies performed indicated that L-carnitine has beneficial effects on LM (lean mass) and intensity (activity) of exercise…L-carnitine also prevented exercise-induced muscle damage based on the reduced efflux of inflammatory enzymes and reduced oxidative stress during strenuous exercise in Labrador retrievers.”

An additional benefit of the dogs who received the L-carnitine supplements was that the “Carnitine dogs had significantly more TAC (total antioxidant capacity) compared with control dogs.” The research suggests that the absorption of L-carnitine in the dogs provided an increase in their antioxidant defense system, thus enabling them to better combat free radicals which cause cell damage.

Moreover, the benefits when organic compounds work together can be astounding. For example, the combination of L-carnitine and taurine (see my September 1 article) has been shown to aid dogs in their recovery from certain deficiencies in these organic compounds, most notably those associated with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). It is important to note that some dog breeds (e.g., Boxers, Golden retrievers, Newfoundland’s and American Cocker Spaniels) have shown dramatic improvement in myocardial function after supplementation with one or both of these nutrients.

It is important to realize that L-carnitine levels play a vital role in the various life stages of your dog. Both our puppies and senior pets produce L-carnitine at a slower rate. Our active dogs need more L-carnitine for muscle development, especially during periods of exercise and recovery from physical activity. It is evident that both diet and supplements can play a key role in helping L-carnitine levels.

All Do Only Good pet recipes are a single-source protein. As the science has shown, these meat proteins are the best food sources of L-carnitine. Furthermore, we include both L-carnitine and taurine in our dog food to ensure – whatever your dog’s life stage – that they are receiving the optimal effects from these important components of their physical health.

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APPA; American Pet Products Association logo; D.O.G. Certified and Do Only Good (D.O.G.) Pet Food membership
WPA; World Pet Association logo; D.O.G. Certified and Do Only Good (D.O.G.) Pet Food membership

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