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2013-05-07

Two More Carnitine Studies Show Benefits for Cardiovascular Health and ALS

Well, it's been almost a full two weeks since I last published new research, and while I usually put these posts together during my downtime, recently I've been hooked on Being Erica, a TV series I'm watching on NetFlix.

I can't remember the last time I had a favourite show (outside of the Bachelor franchise, I embarrassingly admit), probably because I don't watch cable, but Being Erica is the perfect mix of philosophy, sci-fi time travel, self-help, Canadiana chick-flick.

The main character is about my age, so there's a lot I can relate to as she time travels back to her early years. Further, since the show takes place in Toronto, any one in the Greater Toronto Area will be familiar with many of the landmarks that are woven into the story line. I highly recommend this show.

Anyway, enough of my unpaid advertising for this show...

So to continue my last post and roll with the positive studies on L-carnitine, here are a couple more new studies on its therapeutic benefits.

The first study I'll cover today was double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study involving patients between the ages of 40 and 70 years. Selection criteria included definite or probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), patients needed to be self-sufficient (able to swallow, cut food/handle utensils, walk), and have a forced vital capacity of > 80%. 

The treatment group was supplementated with acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC)--my favourite form of carnitine--at a dose of 3 g/d (which was added to conventional therapy). ALC was found to be effective (less became non-self-sufficient), well-tolerated, and safe, during the 48 weeks of follow-up.

Source: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of acetyl-L-carnitine for ALS

The other study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 controlled trials (totalling 3629 subjects). Supplementation with L-carnitine was found to be associated with a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality, a 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias, and a 40% reduction in the development of angina, although there was no significant reduction in the development of heart failure or myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Source: L-Carnitine in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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