Carnitine For The Treatment Of Health Conditions

In addition to the benefits of acetyl l-carintine, carnitine may also be used to treat a number of health conditions.

However, many of the studies supporting these benefits are small scale; in many cases larger scale clinical trials are needed.

Angina – carnitine may be used alongside treatment for angina to give positive results.

For example, one study [8] gave 2 grams of carnitine daily to 100 patients with exercise induced stable angina.

Following a period of 6 months, compared to the control group, the group given l-carnitine showed:

  • a reduction in PVC (premature ventricular contractions) at rest
  • increased tolerance during an exercise bicycle test
  • cardiac function improvements
  • a fall in the consumption of cardioactive medication

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) – the evidence is unclear, however, alongside normal medication, carnitine supplements may reduce:

  • chest pain
  • risk of heart failure
  • risk of another heart attack
  • heart rhythms which are abnormal

Carnitine & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – this is a condition marked by extended periods of fatigue. One defining symptom is post exertion malaise; fatigue and a general feeling of ill health experienced 24-72 hours after exertion. There is evidence which suggests l-carnitine supplements may improve CFS symptoms [10].

Carnitine & Peyronie's Disease – a condition in males, characterized by curvature of the penis which becomes painful when erect and sometimes painful during sex. Carnitine may be more effective than the medication tamoxifen, which is sometimes prescribed for Peyronie's disease [11]. Carnitine may help reduce the pain and curvature of the penis.

Kidney Disease & Carnitine – carnitine is produced by the kidneys and lower levels may arise if the kidneys become diseased. Therefore, carnitine may be of benefit to people with kidney disease. However, consult your doctor first if you have kidney disease and are thinking of taking this supplement.

PVD & Carnitine – PVD, peripheral vascular disease, is a condition in which blood flow is reduced to the limbs. Reduction in blood flow may be caused by a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels (the veins, arteries and capillaries which form part of the circulatory system).

Symptoms of PVD include leg cramps, pain and aches in the legs following movement. Carnitine may help improve these symptoms of PVD, allowing patients to walk further with less discomfort [12].

Compression stockings may also help people with peripheral vascular disease.

Carnitine & Hyperthyroidism – hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes over active.

The thyroid gland is a large endocrine gland found at the base of the neck. It produces various hormones including those which regulate factors such as growth, metabolism, heart rate and temperature.

Carnitine may reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism [14]. These include:

  • rapid heart rate
  • anxiousness
  • insomnia
  • physical shakes and tremors