American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Mariano Malaguarnera, Lisa Cammalleri, Maria Pia Gargante, Marco Vacante, Valentina Colonna, and Massimo Motta
Centenarians are characterized by weakness, decreasing mental health, impaired mobility, and poor endurance. L-Carnitine is an important contributor to cellular energy metabolism.
This study evaluated the efficacy of L-carnitine on phys- ical and mental fatigue and on cognitive functions of centenarians.
This was a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 2-phase study. Sixty-six centenarians with onset of fatigue after even slight physical activity were recruited to the study. The 2 groups received either 2 g levocarnitine once daily (n = 32) or placebo (n = 34). Efficacy measures included changes in total fat mass, total muscle mass, serum triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Activities of Daily Living, and a 6-min walking corridor test.
At the end of the study period, the levocarnitine-treated centenarians, compared with the placebo group, showed significant improvements in the following markers: total fat mass (-1.80 compared with 0.6 kg; P less than 0.01), total muscle mass (3.80 compared with 0.8 kg; P less than 0.01), plasma concentrations of total carnitine (12.60 compared with -1.70 μmol; P less than 0.05), plasma long-chain acylcarnitine (1.50 compared with -0.1 μmol; P less than 0.001), and plasma short-chain acylcarnitine (6.0 compared with -1.50 μmol; P less than 0.001). Significant differences were also found in physical fatigue (-4.10 compared with -1.10; P less than 0.01), mental fatigue (-2.70 compared with 0.30; P less than 0.001), fatigue severity (-23.60 compared with 1.90; P less than 0.001), and MMSE (4.1 compared with 0.6; P less than 0.001).
Our study indicates that oral administration of levocarnitine produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscular mass, and facilitates an increased capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions.
August 6, 2007View study