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A non-essential amino acid that plays a part in the utilisation of fats in the body; it also helps to transport fatty acids to the mitochondria, the tiny power plants in the cells that convert fat to energy.

Carnitine is mostly supplied from animal products, but is also manufactured in the body (in the liver and kidneys) from amino acids lysine and methionine.

Vegetarians, and slimmers on crash diets, are most likely to be deficient in carnitine, and benefit from supplements of vitamins B and C plus the mineral iron.

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