Carnitine supplements, Therapeutic uses of supplements

Carnitine supplements are used to treat carnitine deficiency.

Cardiovascular disease

Carnitine can be used to treat several types of cardiovascular disease.


In a 1994 study, Dutch researchers assessed the effect of L-propionyl carnitine on ischemia in 31 untreated male patients with left coronary artery disease. The patients were studied during two identical pacing stress tests 45 minutes before and 15 minutes after administration of 15 mg/kg of L-propionyl carnitine or placebo. The results showed that the L-propionylcarnitine prevented ischemia- induced heart dysfunction through its enhancement of metabolism.

Carnitine supplementsRecovery from heart attack

Carnitine deprivation occurs in heart muscle during heart attack and some studies suggest that carnitine supplements have a beneficial effect on heart function. In a 1995 study, Italian researchers investigated the effects of L-carnitine on heart function in 472 heart attack patients. The patients received either placebo or L- carnitine within 24 hours of the onset of chest pain. The treatments were given at a dose of 9 g per day intravenously for the first five days, and then 6 g per day orally for the next 12 months. The results showed that heart function was better in the carnitine-treated group than in the placebo group. There was a lower incidence of congestive heart failure and fewer deaths in the carnitine- treated group.

Other types of cardiovascular disease

Carnitine supplements have also been used to treat cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, dyslipidemia, diabetes and arrhythmias. Propionyl-L-carnitine has shown beneficial effects in the treatment of intermittent claudication.                                                                  

It can also be used to lower blood fat levels, aid in weight loss, and improve muscle strength in some cases of weakness. A 1997 Italian study showed that carnitine supplements improved glucose metabolism in healthy people.

Carnitine supplementsAlzheimer's disease

There are several studies which suggest that acetyl-L-carnitine may delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease.5 In a small double-blind trial published in 1995, seven patients with probable Alzheimer's disease received 3 g/day of acetyl-L-carnitine for one year, while five similar patients were given a placebo. Patients treated with acetyl-L-carnitine showed significantly less deterioration on mental status tests than did patients receiving the placebo.

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Carnitine supplements



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