L-Carnitine: Conflicting Studies

L-Carnitine; Good or Bad?


Findings from a new study indicate that the substance L-carnitine reduces death from all causes in patients who have had a heart attack.

The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, appears to contradict research published earlier this month in Nature Medicine. That study, conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, indicated that carnitine was transformed into TMAO,  a substance that’s been linked to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

L-carnitine is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement, and the newest study indicates its usefulness.  Researchers analyzed 13 studies published from 1989-2007. All compared the use of L-carnitine with a placebo or control.

The experts’ findings on patients who used L-carnitine: a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality; 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias; and a 40% reduction in the development of angina.

Senior  investigator Carl J. Lavie, M.D.,of  the University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans, said the earlier study was “of interest…. but the main study reported there was in animals, and unlike our study, lacks hard outcomes.


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