L-carnitine improves heart performance in patients with heart failure

Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of L-carnitine in congestive heart failure.

This study examined the effect of the natural amino acid L-carnitine in patients with heart failure. The study group included 38 patients (22 men and 16 women) aged 65 to 82 years. In addition to the standard medication (Digitalis, diuretics, antiarrhythmics), a group of 21 patients received 1-g doses twice daily of L-carnitine for 45 days. The control group received ineffective placebos. The study showed that patients receiving carnitine had a reduced heart rate, a decrease in edema and shortness of breath as well as a significantly improved urine excretion (diuresis). In addition, by supplementing carnitine, the dose of Digitalis could be reduced significantly. Further details can be found in the study.
The heart is the “motor” of our body, contracting about 80,000 times a day to pump the blood through our circulatory system. It is the mechanically the most active organ of our body. The actual “work” is performed by billions of muscle cells that contract at the same time to form the heartbeat. And just like in a car, the biological motor “heart” needs energy to function properly. Micronutrients are the most important carriers of biological energy for an optimum contraction of the heart muscle cells. A long-term dietary deficiency of micronutrients leads to an insufficient contraction of the heart muscle cells, to a suboptimal pumping function of the heart and eventually to heart failure (cardiomyopathy). Typical heart failure symptoms include shortness of breath, edema and chronic fatigue, making everyday activities such as house cleaning, walking or going to the supermarket very difficult.
Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1988 Apr;26(4):217-20. Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of L-carnitine in congestive heart failure. Ghidini O1, Azzurro M, Vita G, Sartori G.

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