L-Carnitine For Angina, Energy, Alzheimers, Depression, Fatigue and Neuropathy
Scientists have found that carnitine helps protects against neurodegenerative diseases, helps to alleviate depressions, and improves heart function.
Some medications and conditions such as angina or intermittent claudication (cramping pain in the leg induced by exercise, typically caused by an obstruction of the arteries.) can reduce the levels of carnitine in the body.
Several clinical trials show that L-carnitine can help to reduce symptoms of Angina especially when taken with conventional treatments.
A few small studies show that L-carnitine taken shortly after a heart attack may be less likely to have another heart attack, have chest pain or abnormal heart rhythms.
Do your cells have enough energy?
Do you feel tired all the time? Well you are not alone. Fatigue is one of the most common complaints doctors hear on a regular basis. L-carnitine helps produce energy in muscle and brain tissue, so it may help those who suffer from every day fatigue.
In a study on multiple sclerosis; scientists compared amantadine (a drug for parkinsons, influenza and fatigue) with L-carnitine to see which was more effective at reducing fatigue. Scientists concluded that L-carnitine was more effective than the standard pharmaceutical and with less side effects.
As we age, our cellular energy levels rapidly decline. This decline makes our bodies more vulnerable to a host of degenerative diseases.
Mitochondria help to produce energy within your cells. As we age, these mitochondria become dysfunctional. The essential amino acid L-carnitine is very important in keeping proper mitochondrial function, which maintains high cellular energy levels.
Without carnitine, the mitochondria can not burn the fats from the food we eat and convert them to energy.
When carnitine is combined with lipoic acid, it helps to reduce oxidative stress that can occur when you use large amounts of energy. Lipoic acid is a helper molecule to mitochondria which increases cellular energy efficiency by breaking down fatty acids.
Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Our brains work very hard every day and use large amounts of energy. This large use on a daily basis leads to oxidative damage (or rust) to the mitochondria in the brain. This damage is thought to be one of the main reasons for brain aging and degenerative diseases of the brain. L-carnitine helps protect the brain cells from this oxidative damage.
In a 1998 study on L-carnitine, 334 Alzheimer’s patients were given either L-carnitine or a placebo. The carnitine group showed a significant slowing of the Alzheimer’s.
In another study on Alzheimer’s, patients that supplemented with L-carnitine showed less deterioration of mental status.
Since these studies both had positive outcomes, researchers are now conducting larger studies on L-carnitine with people suffering from Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.
In addition, patients taking carnitine with their standard medications for Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline have seen a significant improvement with this combination.
Averting and Managing Depression
Scientists have found that L-carnitine improves the brains structure and function, which may help with certain forms of depression associated with age and disease.
“For example, scientists examined two elderly depressed men and found large amounts of high-energy fat metabolites in their brains, indicating poor energy utilization by the brains’ own tissues. This failure of the brain to function optimally resulted in a chemically induced depression. When the men supplemented with acetyl-L-carnitine, the levels of these molecules fell and they experienced significant improvements in their depression rating scale.”
In a 2004 study, cancer patients were supplemented with L-carnitine and after one week, there was a marked improvement in depression, sleep disruption and fatigue scores.
A recent study showed L-carnitine was just as effective as amisulpride (a mood stabilizing drug) in reducing depression without the side effects.
Protect Against Neuropathy
When nerve cells get damaged, they contribute to a condition known as neuropathy. Neuropathy’s symptoms include pain, numbness, altered sensation and muscle weakness. L-carnitine can protect against many of the causes of neuropathy and improve the symptoms as well.
Some forms of diabetic neuropathy are caused by a decrease in L-carnitine levels and a high production of free radicals in the nerve cells.
In a 2002 long term clinical trial, patients with diabetic neuropathy were treated with 1 gram of L-carnitine for 10 days, followed by 2 grams per day taken by mouth for one year. There was a notable improvement in nerve conduction and pain.
In another study with 1,257 patients with diabetic neuropathy, there was a significant improvement in nerve fiber and regenerative nerve fiber clusters.
These results are impressive and are promising for people with nerve injury and diabetic neuropathy.