L-Carnitine ResearchFebruary 10, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
In last week’s interview with Jonny Bowden, the good doctor mentioned L-carnitine as a noteworthy supplement that benefits heart health. A recent review in the journal Current Drug Metabolism concurs and describes several mechanisms that make this so. Among them, the authors cite carnitine’s ability to transport “fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, thus allowing the cells to break down fat and get energy from stored fat reserves”. They go on to report that carnitine reduces oxidative stress and may, therefore, be a helpful adjunct in conditions including angina, heart failure and even overweight. But, this “endogenous molecule” has plenty to offer beyond the confines of the cardiovascular system.
Far and away, beef is the richest food source of L-carnitine. However, the benefits of carnitine are not exclusively available to carnivores and omnivores. The body is capable of manufacturing carnitine when adequate amounts of L-lysine, an essential amino acid, are consumed. Thankfully for vegetarians, lysine is present in many plant-based foods such as lentils, peas and soybeans. In addition, carnitine supplements are affordable, widely available and frequently offered in a vegetarian friendly format (i.e. liquids, tablets or vegetarian capsules).
Emerging research indicates that three prevalent conditions and diseases may be aided by the use of therapeutic amounts of L-carnitine. Recent studies reveal that asthmatics often have lower plasma concentrations of free and total carnitine compared to healthy subjects. When researchers treat asthmatic children with carnitine, select measures of asthma control and pulmonary function improve. Supplementing with up to 4 grams/day of L-carnitine has likewise been shown to: a) enhance blood sugar control, lower insulin production and reduce associated hypertension in those with insulin resistance and; b) improve treatment compliance and outcomes, while reducing side effects in patients receiving conventional treatment (interferon-a 2b plus ribavirin) for chronic hepatitis C.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – L-Carnitine – Metabolic Functions and Meaning in Humans Life … (link)
Study 2 – Serum Total and Free Carnitine Levels in Children with Asthma … (link)
Study 3 – The Role of L-Carnitine in Treatment of a Murine Model of Asthma … (link)
Study 4 – L-Carnitine Improves the Asthma Control in Children with Moderate … (link)
Study 5 – Role of Carnitine in the Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis and … (link)
Study 6 – Oral Acetyl-l-Carnitine Therapy and Insulin Resistance … (link)
Study 7 – Caloric Restriction and L-Carnitine Administration Improves Insulin … (link)
Study 8 – L-Carnitine Supplementation Improves Hematological Pattern … (link)
Study 9 – Plasma Carnitine is Associated with Fatigue in Chronic Hepatitis C … (link)
Study 10 – The Supplementation of Acetyl-l-Carnitine Decreases Fatigue and … (link)
L-Carnitine Supplementation May Improve Hepatitis C Treatment Response
Source: World J Gastroenterol. 2011 October 21; 17(39): 4414–4420. (link)
Tags: asthma, Carnitine, Liver
Posted in Children's Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements