'Beef Up' Your Body with This Potent Nutrient

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

Almost everyone in my nutrition class thinks that red meat is bad for you – not too surprising since the FDA, USDA, AMA, and just about everyone else has been telling you this for decades. This is very bad advice.

In fact, they might as well recommend you weaken your muscles and bones—and fatten your gut. New research on one of red meat’s most hard-to-come-by nutrients proves it.

One of the problems with avoiding red meat is L-carnitine. Your body needs it for a healthy metabolism. It’s especially good at powering up your muscles to burn fat. Bodybuilders consider it a “must” for staying ripped and strong. The problem is, as you get older, the amount of L-carnitine in your body starts to drop.

A study published in the Journals of Gerontology suggests that L-carnitine can help keep you lean and strong as you age.1

They put a group of older rats on an L-carnitine-rich diet for 12 weeks, with another group eating as usual. Sure enough, once the three-month trial was up, the supplements had restored the lost nutrients in the older rats.

That in turn led to a 55 percent improvement in muscle function. As an added bonus, they also shed abdominal fat even though they were eating the same amount of calories as before.

In other words, this preliminary study suggests that
L-carnitine can help increase lean body mass while reducing body fat.

In a second study, researchers recreated the conditions of postmenopausal bone loss in a group of aging rats.2 They removed their ovaries, split them into two groups, and then put one of them on L-carnitine for eight weeks. The group taking L-carnitine significantly ramped up bone mineral density and slowed down bone loss.

In my opinion, this research suggests that women should be sure to get enough of this nutrient especially after they go through menopause.

When I put my patients on it, they tell me they can feel the difference. They’re sharper, more energetic, and stronger.

The bottom line is you should strive to get enough of this nutrient in your diet or with a supplement.

One great way to do this is to ignore the warnings about meat and start eating it regularly (grass-fed, wild-caught, or organic, of course). If you’re a loyal reader, you’ve already made healthy animal protein the cornerstone of your diet anyway… right?

Here’s a short list of healthy meats and how much L-carnitine they contain:


Amount (oz)

Carnitine Level (mg)

Beef Steak



Ground Beef









Supplements are another way for you to get an adequate amount of L-carnitine. I usually recommend a daily amount of 1000 mg. You can find it at health food stores, online, and even in the vitamin section of some drugstores.

One word of advice: I prefer liquid L-carnitine since powder or capsules may contain unwanted fillers and binders that may inhibit its absorption. With the liquid form, you avoid this potential issue. Unfortunately, liquid L-carnitine isn’t as widely available as the capsule or powder form, so I’ve put together my own formula.

To try my liquid formula, click HERE.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

  1. Bernard et al. “L-carnitine supplementation and physical exercise restore age-associated decline…” 2008. The Journals of Gerontolology A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 63(10):1027-33.
  2. Hooshmand et al. “Dietary L-carnitine supplementation improves bone mineral density by suppressing bone turnover in aged ovariectomized rats.” 2008. Phytomedicine. 15(8):595-601.