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L-carnitine positively affects lipid profile, oxidative stress biomarkers in PV

26 Jan 2018

L-carnitine supplementation appears to have favourable effects on biomarkers of oxidative stress, antioxidant capacity and lipid profile in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), a study reports.

The study included a total of 52 PV patients who were randomized to receive L-carnitine tartrate (n=26) at 2 g/day or placebo (n=26) for 8 weeks. L-carnitine was given in two equal doses of 1 g before breakfast and dinner. Anthropometric, lipid profile and oxidative stress values were determined at baseline and upon intervention conclusion.

At the end of intervention, serum levels of triglycerides, total-, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and oxidative stress index decreased significantly in the L-carnitine vs placebo arm (p<0.05 for all). Supplementation with L-carnitine also led to a substantial improvement in levels of total antioxidant capacity (TAC; p=0.05) and serum carnitine (p<0.001).

On the other hand, L-carnitine had no effect on serum total oxidant capacity (p=0.15) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p=0.06) as compared with placebo. Researchers pointed out that this lack of effect might be attributed to insufficient duration of supplementation.

While the exact mechanism through which L-carnitine may influence lipid profile is unknown, previous studies report that ingestion of the compound may alter the liver metabolic bias, resulting in an increase in fatty acids β-oxidation in mitochondria and reduction in the formation of triglycerides and very LDL-C. [Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:71-76]

Meanwhile, a decrease in oxidative stress biomarkers and an increase in TAC levels after L-carnitine consumption could be associated with the suppression of xanthine oxidase system from reactive oxygen species generation, chelation of metal ferrous ion and decrease in cytosolic iron, and improvements in antioxidants system components, such as glutathione peroxidase, vitamins A, E and C. [Biol Trace Elem Res 2011;143:1640-1650; Int J Radiat Biol 2009;85:680-689; Life Sciences 2006;78:803-811]

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