L carnitine supplementation lowers inflammation in heart disease

L-carnitine supplementation lowers inflammation in heart disease

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The March 2015 issue of the journal Nutrition reported the outcome of a randomized trial of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients which found that supplementation with L-carnitine was associated with a reduction in markers of inflammation.

"Many theories describing the atherosclerotic disease process are correlated with inflammation status," write Bor-Jen Lee, MD, PhD, of Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan and colleagues in their introduction to the article. "Mounting evidence indicates that a higher inflammation status plays a key role in development of coronary artery disease."

Thirty-nine men were given 1,000 milligrams L-carnitine or a placebo for twelve weeks. Serum inflammation markers C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), as well as markers of antioxidant status, were measured before and after the treatment period.

Among those who received L-carnitine, all markers of inflammation were lower on average in comparison with the placebo group by the end of the study. Higher CRP and IL-6 levels were correlated with increased levels of oxidative stress and higher levels of all markers of inflammation were associated with lower antioxidant enzyme levels.

Dr Lee and associates note that studies have shown that L-carnitine helps prevent oxidative injury in models of cardiovascular disease by reducing lipid peroxidation, scavenging hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radicals, chelating metal ions, and upregulating the body's antioxidant defense system by increasing endogenous antioxidant activities.

"To our knowledge, this is the first clinical study to examine the anti-inflammation effect of L-carnitine supplementation in patients with CAD," the authors announce. "We suggest that L-carnitine supplementation, due to its antioxidant effects, may have potential utility to reduce inflammation in coronary artery disease," they conclude.


What's Hot
Decreased arterial stiffness associated with antioxidant supplementation
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The results of a meta-analysis published online on August 6, 2014, in the Journal of Nutrition indicate that supplementing with antioxidant nutrients could help protect against arterial stiffening that occurs with aging. The condition is associated with atherosclerosis, diabetes, and other conditions.

Ammar W. Ashor and colleagues at England's Newcastle University selected 20 randomized trials that included a total of 1,909 participants aged 22 to 63 for their analysis. Studies involved vitamin C and/or E alone, or a combination of antioxidant vitamins and/or mineral supplementation. Arterial stiffness was evaluated via pulse-wave velocity measurement or other methods.

Pooled analysis of the data revealed a significant reduction in arterial stiffness associated with antioxidant supplementation in comparison with a placebo or no treatment. The benefit was more pronounced in studies in which arterial stiffness was experimentally induced or in primary prevention trials and was more effective among those with lower plasma vitamin C and E prior to supplementation. Antioxidant vitamins were associated with improvement in arterial stiffness regardless of the participants' age or length of treatment.

"The beneficial effects of antioxidant vitamins on vascular stiffness may be explained by the reduction of the damaging effects of free radicals on structural and functional components of the vessel walls," the authors explain. "Antioxidant vitamins inactivate free radicals, reduce inflammation, and therefore protect the integrity of the vascular wall. Furthermore, antioxidant vitamins increase the bioavailability of the vasodilator and anti-inflammatory molecule nitric oxide."

They add that the arterial response to supplementation is different for each vitamin, which suggests that each one has specific effects on the vascular wall.

"The potential public health importance of these findings remains to be tested in suitably designed personalized (or stratified) intervention studies," they conclude.


Life Extension Clinical Research Update

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Life Extension Magazine® March 2015 Issue Now Online

Life Extension Magazine® February 2015 Issue Now Online

On the cover

Linda Gray's longevity regimen, by Donna Caruso


Anticancer properties of saffron, by Jennifer Provos

Safely reduce annoying prostate symptoms, by John Reeves

The 2014 World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®, by Ben Best

Reverse mild cognitive impairment, by Eric Braverman, MD, and Bruce Scali


As we see it: Best drug to treat hypertension, by William Faloon

Ask the dentist: Dr Sandra Moldovan discusses the overlooked importance of oral health, by Donna Caruso

Super foods: Parsley, by Michael Downey

In the News

Author interview: Missing Microbes with Martin J. Blaser, MD, by Astrid Derfler Kessler

Ask the doctor: Novel solution effectively treats chronic sinusitis, by Michael Downey

Journal abstracts: Saffron, prostate, exercise, cognitive impairment


Health Concern

Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease

Proprionyl L-carnitine (PLC) has received attention for its ability to directly improve endothelial function. PLC passes across the mitochondrial membrane to supply L-carnitine directly to the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles of cells. Carnitines are essential for mitochondrial fatty acid transport and energy production, which is important because endothelial cells and heart muscle cells burn fatty acids for 70 percent of their energy. By contrast, most other cells generate 70 percent of their energy from glucose and only 30 percent from fatty acids (Kaiser KP, 1987).

In human studies, PLC produced significant improvement in maximum walking distance with claudication (sclerotic peripheral vascular disease) and had no major side effects (Wiseman LR et al 1998). Another study found that PLC significantly reduced homocysteine levels when administered intravenously to hemodialysis patients (Signorelli, 2006).

Animal studies suggest PLC may help prevent or decrease the severity of vascular disease. In rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet, which normally induces endothelial dysfunction and subsequent atherosclerosis, supplementation with PLC resulted in reduced plaque thickness, markedly lower triglyceride levels, and reduced proliferation of foam cells (Spagnoli, 1995).

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