Efficacy of l-carnitine supplementation for management of blood lipids: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Nov ;29(11):1151-1167. Epub 2019 Jul 24. PMID: 31561944
BACKGROUND AND AIM: l-carnitine has an important role in fatty acid metabolism and could therefore act as an adjuvant agent in the improvement of dyslipidemia. The purpose of present systematic review and meta-analysis was to critically assess the efficacy of l-carnitine supplementation on lipid profiles.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a systematic search of all available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the following databases: Scopus, PubMed, ISI Web of Science, The Cochrane Library. Mean difference (MD) of any effect was calculated using a random-effects model. In total, there were 55 eligible RCTs included with 58 arms, and meta-analysis revealed that l-carnitine supplementation significantly reduced total cholesterol (TC) (56 arms-MD: -8.53 mg/dl, 95% CI: -13.46, -3.6, I: 93%), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (47 arms-MD: -5.48 mg/dl, 95% CI: -8.49, -2.47, I: 94.5) and triglyceride (TG) (56 arms-MD: -9.44 mg/dl, 95% CI: -16.02, -2.87, I: 91.8). It also increased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) (51 arms-MD:1.64 mg/dl, 95% CI:0.54, 2.75, I: 92.2). l-carnitine supplementation reduced TC in non-linear fashion based on dosage (r = 21.11). Meta-regression analysis indicated a linear relationship between dose of l-carnitine and absolute change in TC (p = 0.029) and LDL-C (p = 0.013). Subgroup analyses showed that l-carnitine supplementation did not change TC, LDL-C and TG in patients under hemodialysis treatment. Intravenous l-carnitine and lower doses (>2 g/day) had no effect on TC, LDL-C and triglycerides.
CONCLUSION: l-carnitine supplementation at doses above 2 g/d has favorable effects on patients' lipid profiles, but is modulated on participant health and route of administration.