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Carnitine Contributions by ColleenO

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The amino acid L-carnitine (carnitine) has shown potential value during the first few weeks after a heart attack. Supplementing with carnitine offers potential benefits such as improved heart function and reduced rate of heart enlargement.

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  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Clinical nutritionist or registered dietitian
... (more)

Typical adult dosages of carnitine range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg three times daily. In one of the studies mentioned here, the daily dose was 6 g.

Carnitine is taken in three forms: L-carnitine (for heart and other conditions), propionyl-L-carnitine (for heart conditions), and acetyl-L-carnitine (for Alzheimer's disease). The dosage is the same for all three forms.

... (more)

Carnitine may have a few effects on the heart after a heart attack, including helping to improve heart function and decreasing the enlargement that often follows an attack.

... (more)
  1. Iliceto S, Scrutinio D, Bruzzi P, et al. Effect of L-carnitine administration on left ventricular remodeling after acute anterior myocardial infarction: the L-Carnitine Ecocardiografia Digitalizzata Infarto Miocardico (CEDIM) Trial. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995;26:380-387.
  2. Iyer R, Gupta A, Khan A, et al. Does left ventricular function improve with L-carnitine after acute myocardial infarction? J Postgrad Med. 1999;45:38-41.
  3. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Agarwal P, et al. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of L-carnitine in suspected acute myocardial infarction. Postgrad Med J. 1996;72:45-50.
  4. Davini P, Bigalli A, Lamanna F, et al. Controlled study on L-carnitine therapeutic efficacy in post-infarction. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1992;18:355-365.
  5. Tarantini G, Scrutinio D, Bruzzi P, et al. Metabolic Treatment with L-Carnitine in Acute Anterior ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. A Randomized Controlled Trial. Cardiology. 2006 May 9. [Epub ahead of print]
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A double-blind, placebo-controlled study that followed 101 people for 1 month after a heart attack found that use of L-carnitine, in addition to standard care, reduced the size of the infarct (area of dead heart tissue).5 Other complications of heart attack were reduced, as well. Similar benefits were also seen in a 1-year, controlled study of 160 people who had just experienced a heart attack; however, because this study was not double-blind, its results are not reliable.6

In the months following a severe heart attack, the heart often enlarges and loses function. L-carnitine has shown some potential for helping the first of these complications, but not the second. In a 12-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 472 people who had just experienced a heart attack, use of carnitine at a dose of 6 g per day significantly decreased the rate of heart enlargement.3 However, heart function was not improved. A 3-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 60 people who had just undergone a heart attack also failed to find improvements in heart function with L-carnitine.4 (Heart enlargement was not studied.)

Results consistent with those of the studies above were seen in a 6-month, double blind, placebo-controlled study of 2,330 people who had just had a heart attack.16 Carnitine failed to produce significant reductions in mortality or heart failure (serious decline in heart function) over the 6-month period. However, it did find reductions in early death.

... (more)

The amino acid L-carnitine (carnitine) has shown potential value during the first few weeks after a heart attack. Supplementing with carnitine offers potential benefits such as improved heart function and reduced rate of heart enlargement.

... (more)

Carnitine may have a few effects on the heart after a heart attack, including helping to improve heart function and decreasing the enlargement that often follows an attack.

... (more)

Due to its role in the cellular production of energy, the vitamin-like substance L-carnitine (carnitine) might be a good addition to standard therapy for angina.

Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance used by the body to turn fat into energy. It is not normally considered an essential nutrient because the body can manufacture all it needs. However, supplemental carnitine could in theory improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy. This has led to the use of carnitine for various muscle diseases as well as heart conditions, including angina.

... (more)
  1. Cacciatore L, Cerio R, Ciarimboli M, et al. The therapeutic effect of L-carnitine in patients with exercise-induced stable angina: a controlled study. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1991;17:225-235.
  2. Cherchi A, Lai C, Angelino F, et al. Effects of L-carnitine on exercise tolerance in chronic stable angina: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled crossover study. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1985;23:569-572.
  3. Bartels GL, Remme WJ, Pillay M, et al. Effects of L-propionylcarnitine on ischemia-induced myocardial dysfunction in men with angina pectoris. Am J Cardiol. 1994;74:125-130.
  4. Bartels GL, Remme WJ, den Hartog FR, et al. Additional anti-ischemic effects of long-term L-propionylcarnitine in anginal patients treated with conventional antianginal therapy. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1995;9:749-753.
  5. Lagioia R, Scrutinio D, Mangini SG, et al. Propionyl-L-carnitine: a new compound in the metabolic approach to the treatment of effort angina. Int J Cardiol. 1992;34:167-172.
  6. Bartels GL, Remme WJ, Holwerda KJ, et al. Anti-ischaemic efficacy of L-propionylcarnitine—a promising novel metabolic approach to ischaemia? Eur Heart J. 1996;17:414-420.
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  • MD
  • Clinical nutritionist or registered dietitian
  • Naturopath
... (more)

Typical adult dosages of carnitine range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg three times daily.

Carnitine is taken in three forms: L-carnitine (for heart and other conditions), propionyl-L-carnitine (for heart conditions), and acetyl-L-carnitine (for Alzheimer's disease). The dosage is the same for all three forms.

Note: Angina is a serious disease that absolutely requires conventional medical evaluation and supervision. No one should self-treat for angina. However, alternative treatments such as carnitine may provide a useful adjunct to standard medical care when monitored by an appropriate healthcare professional. Consult with your physician regarding carnitine dosage and specific safety issues.

... (more)

Typical adult dosages of carnitine range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg three times daily.

Carnitine is taken in three forms: L-carnitine (for heart and other conditions), propionyl-L-carnitine (for heart conditions), and acetyl-L-carnitine (for Alzheimer's disease). The dosage is the same for all three forms.

Note: Angina is a serious disease that absolutely requires conventional medical evaluation and supervision. No one should self-treat for angina. However, alternative treatments such as carnitine may provide a useful adjunct to standard medical care when monitored by an appropriate healthcare professional. Consult with your physician regarding carnitine dosage and specific safety issues.

... (more)

In one controlled but not double-blind study, 200 individuals with angina (the exercise-induced variety) received either a daily dose of L-carnitine or were left untreated.1 All the study participants continued to take their usual medication for angina. Those taking carnitine showed improvement in several measures of heart function, including a significantly greater ability to exercise without chest pain. They were also able to reduce the dosage of some of their heart medications (under medical supervision) as their symptoms decreased.

A smaller trial that did use a double-blind, placebo-controlled format evaluated 52 people with angina.2 The results showed that daily use of L-carnitine significantly improved symptoms as compared to placebo.

Other studies (both single- and double-blind) used a special form of L-carnitine called L-propionyl-carnitine, and researchers found evidence of benefit.3-6

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Carnitine plays a role in the cellular production of energy. Although carnitine does not address the cause of angina, it appears to help the heart produce energy more efficiently, thereby enabling it to get by with less oxygen.

... (more)

L-carnitine (carnitine) might be a good addition to standard therapy for angina.

Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance used by the body to turn fat into energy. It is not normally considered an essential nutrient because the body can manufacture all it needs. However, supplemental carnitine could in theory improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy. This has led to the use of carnitine for various muscle diseases as well as heart conditions, including angina.

... (more)

Carnitine plays a role in the cellular production of energy. Although carnitine does not address the cause of angina, it appears to help the heart produce energy more efficiently, thereby enabling it to get by with less oxygen.

... (more)

L-carnitine (carnitine) is a substance used by the body uses to turn fat into energy. It is not normally considered an essential nutrient because the body can manufacture all it needs. However, supplemental carnitine could in theory improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy. This has led to the use of carnitine for various muscle diseases as well as heart conditions.

Dietary sources of carnitine include eggs, fish, meat and milkdairy.

... (more)

L-carnitine (carnitine) is a substance used by the body uses to turn fat into energy. It is not normally considered an essential nutrient because the body can manufacture all it needs. However, supplemental carnitine could in theory improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy. This has led to the use of carnitine for various muscle diseases as well as heart conditions.

Dietary sources of carnitine include eggs, fish, meat and dairy.

... (more)

Carnitine is best known and researched as an energy-boosting substance. The body uses it to turn fat into energy. Supplemental carnitine is used to improve the ability of certain tissues, such as muscle, to produce energy. It may be helpful for treating erectile dysfunction by enhancing the nerve functions that are involved in creating and maintaining an erection.

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