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Complement Ther Med. 2020 Jan;48:102273. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102273. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

The effects of carnitine supplementation on clinical characteristics of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address: GS51501@student.upm.edu.my.
2
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; Research Centre of Excellence for NCD (Nutrition and Non-Communicable Diseases), Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address: bnisak@upm.edu.my.
3
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address: n_baidah@upm.edu.my.
4
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address: mohdredzwan@upm.edu.my.
5
Department of Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Electronic address: loqman@upm.edu.my.
6
Student Research Committee, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran. Electronic address: Zeinali.mohammad@lums.ac.ir.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The beneficial effects of carnitine supplementation on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of carnitine supplementation on liver function, lipid profile, body mass index, body weight, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

METHODS:

A comprehensive search of PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were performed. Only randomized placebo-controlled human studies that examined the effects of carnitine supplementation on liver function, lipid profile, body mass index, body weight, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance up to September 2019 were included. Fixed effects or random-effects models were applied to compute the pooled effect size. Heterogeneity assessments were performed using Cochran's Q test and I-squared statistics. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Jaded scale.

RESULTS:

A total of 5 articles were selected, including 334 individuals (167 in control and 167 in intervention groups). The results demonstrated that carnitine supplementation significantly reduced homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (WMD: -0.91; 95 % CI: -1.11, -0.72; p < 0.001, I2 = 0.0 %) and the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (WMD: -16.62; 95 % CI: -28.11, -5.14; IU/l; p = 0.005, I2 = 93.5 %), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (WMD: -33.39; 95 % CI: -45.13, -21.66; IU/l; p < 0.001, I2 = 93.4 %), and triglycerides (TG) (WMD: -22.13; 95 % CI: -38.91, -5.34; mg/dl; p = 0.01; I2 = 0.0 %). However, the results of the pooled effect size did not show any significant effect of carnitine supplementation on body mass index (BMI) (WMD: 0.07; 95 % CI: -0.15, 0.29; p = 0.55; I2 = 0.0 %), body weight (WMD: -0.28; 95 % CI: -2.23, 1.68; p = 0.78; I2 = 45.7 %), the levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase (γGT) (WMD: -11.31; 95 % CI: -24.35, 1.73; IU/l; p = 0.09, I2 = 61.1 %), cholesterol (WMD: -13.58; 95 % CI: -46.77, 19.60; mg/dl; p = 0.42; I2 = 94.9 %), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) (WMD: 1.36; 95 % CI: -0.96, 3.68; mg/dl; p = 0.25; I2 = 64.7 %), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (WMD: -14.85; 95 % CI: -45.43, 15.73; mg/dl; p = 0.34; I2 = 96.4 %).

CONCLUSIONS:

This analysis shows that carnitine supplementation for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease demonstrates a reduction in AST, ALT, TG levels and HOMA-IR. However, no significant effect of carnitine supplementation was observed on BMI, body weight, the levels of γGT, TC, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.

KEYWORDS:

Carnitine; Insulin resistance; Lipid profile; Liver function; Meta-analysis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

PMID:
31987257
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102273

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