Effects of L-carnitine on exercise tolerance in chronic stable angina: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled crossover study
This study investigated the effect of L-carnitine on the cardiac performance of 44 patients suffering from advanced coronary heart disease. All patients showed symptoms of chronic chest tightness (angina pectoris) – an indication of insufficient blood flow in the coronary vessels. In this placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind crossover study, participants received either L-carnitine or a placebo. Compared to participants given a placebo, carnitine-treated patients achieved much better results in a cycloergometer exercise test. Despite higher cardiac stress in these patients, the onset of angina was significantly delayed, as compared to the placebo group. Moreover, the ECG changes (ST segment depression) – a typical feature in this condition – significantly improved in the L-carnitine group. This study has shown that carnitine is able to improve coronary blood flow and cardiac performance in patients with advanced coronary heart disease. Further details can be found in the study.
The underlying disease process of coronary artery disease (CAD) is called arteriosclerosis. This process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of vitamins and other micronutrients. This leads to an underproduction of collagen and other reinforcement molecules in the artery walls and to the initiation of a repair process to compensate for the growing instability of the wall. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the coronary arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient coronary artery wall. A heart attack occurs when the already narrowed artery is clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of heart muscle cells is interrupted. Angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is the typical alarm signal for an increased risk of heart attack. Angina pectoris typically manifests as a sharp pain in the middle of the chest, which frequently radiates into the left arm, but can also manifest itself in other (untypical) symptoms.
Cherchi A, Lai C, Angelino F, Trucco G, Caponnetto S, Mereto PE, Rosolen G, Manzoli U, Schiavoni G, Reale A. Effects of L-carnitine on exercise tolerance in chronic stable angina: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled crossover study. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1985 Oct;23(10):569-72.