We have had a few queries asking why we do not add L-carnitine to our protein packs as concerned dog owners have read that it is one of the requirements in a plant-based homemade diet for dogs.
Firstly, what is L-carnitine?
L-carnitine is a natural substance found in food, mainly meat. However, it is not considered an essential nutrient because the body can make it from the amino acids lysine and methionine.
L-carnitine is the nutrient that transports fatty acids to the mitochondria for use as a fuel source and research shows that muscle carnitine levels are rapidly depleted during exercise and muscular activity.
Our packs contain valuable marine phytoplankton that is rich in the amino acid lysine, and we add organic lupine protein and pumpkin seed protein powder that are both good sources of the sulphur amino acids one of which is methionine. There is L-carnitine added to the All-In-Veluxe supplement that we use as well in our packs but in a smaller quantity as the products used in our protein packs are so nutrient rich. Bananas are another source of lysine used in our Umami Recipe.
Why do we supplement with taurine?
The only research that seems to have gone into feeding plant-based or ‘alternative diets’ in dogs, mentions a lack of taurine as a possible cause of dilated cardiomyopathy. Sadly much of this research appears to have been done by the large corporate pet food companies, but as this is the only research everyone reads about, it is worth just supplementing.
Excess taurine is excreted by the kidneys, not stored in the body so it is not harmful if oversupplemented.
Is excess l-carnitine harmful?
Reported oversupplementing of L-carnitine in people includes symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. With these statistics in humans and knowing that our protein pack ingredients already contain the precursors to L-carnitine with methionine-rich maize/polenta and lysine-rich marine phytoplankton, we have chosen to not oversupplement and add in extra.
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