L-carnitine is the biologically functional form of carnitine and is primarily stored in the muscles and is widely used in supplements to generate energy for muscles and enhance performance. Highly energy-dependent tissues, such as the heart, muscle, liver, and kidneys, remove much of this energy through the β-oxidation reaction, so it is essential that these physiological tissues have a sufficient amount of carnitine, containing 20 to 50 times more carnitine than in plasma since only the kidneys, liver and brain have the complete set of enzymes to synthesize carnitine. L-carnitine becomes essential in metabolic situations where its endogenous synthesis is low, such as in very young animals or neonates, which demand high amounts of energy for their survival in early life. This increase in requirement can also occur in high-performance and breeding animals, that are known to have a high energy requirement.
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