Question: If total carnitine is low, should I supplement?
Supplementation does increase the acylcarnitine fraction and total carnitine to near normal levels. But I'm not clear about whether it's worth worrying about. So, if the total carnitine is low, but the free carnitine is normal, then total carnitine is low because the acylcarnitines are low. I wouldn't be too worried about the acylcarnitines being low. I would be very worried if the acylcarnitines were very high and overwhelming the total pool of carnitine, 'cause that would suggest a metabolic problem.
If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, a private discussion group, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up at https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/masterpass/ and use the code QANDA to get 10% off the membership for life.
From now through March, I will be working full-time on finishing my Vitamins and Minerals 101 book, while reserving a portion of my time for consulting clients. You can pre-order my book at https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/book. You can sign up for a consultation at https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/consultations.
DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.