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Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):71-6. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26251. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

L-Carnitine supplementation reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol in patients with diabetes.

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Department of Senescence, Urological and Neurological Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.



Patients with type 2 diabetes are under high oxidative stress, and levels of hyperglycemia correlate strongly with levels of LDL oxidation. Carnitine favorably modulates oxidative stress.


This objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of L-carnitine on the reduction of oxidized LDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Eighty-one patients with diabetes were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups for 3 mo. The 2 groups received either 2 g L-carnitine once daily (n = 41) or placebo (n = 40). The following variables were assessed at baseline, after washout, and at 1, 2, and 3 mo of treatment: body mass index, fasting plasma glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B-100, oxidized LDL cholesterol, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, and conjugated dienes.


At the end of the study period, the L-carnitine-treated patients showed significant improvements compared with the placebo group in the following markers: oxidized LDL levels decreased by 15.1 compared with 3.0 U/L (P < 0.001); LDL cholesterol decreased by 0.45 compared with 0.16 mmol/L (P < 0.05); triglycerides decreased by 1.02 compared with 0.09 mmol/L (P < 0.001); apolipoprotein A1 concentrations decreased by 0.12 compared with 0.03 mg/dL (P < 0.05); apolipoprotein B-100 concentrations decreased by 0.13 compared with 0.04 mg/dL (P < 0.05); thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance concentrations decreased by 1.92 compared with 0.05 (P < 0.001), and conjugated diene concentrations decreased by 0.72 compared with 0.11 in the placebo group (P < 0.001).


Our study indicates that oral administration of L-carnitine reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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