Improved pacing tolerance of the ischemic human myocardium after administration of carnitine
To investigate the protective effect of the amino acid L-carnitine in circulatory disorders of the heart muscle (myocardial ischemia), two rapid heart pacing studies were performed 15 minutes apart in 21 patients with coronary artery disease. 11 patients received L-carnitine before the second pacing study. Among patients with L-carnitine supplementation, there was a significant improvement in heart rate and blood pressure. The authors concluded that l-carnitine can improve the heart function in patients with circulatory disorders of the heart, especially during intense physical stress. 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.
Thomsen JH, Shug AL, Yap VU, Patel AK, Karras TJ, DeFelice SL. Improved pacing tolerance of the ischemic human myocardium after administration of carnitine. Am J Cardiol. 1979 Feb;43(2):300-6.