Effect of L-carnitine on health-related quality of life in patients with liver cirrhosis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effect of L-carnitine on health-related quality of life in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Biomed Rep. 2020 Dec ;13(6):65. Epub 2020 Oct 20. PMID: 33149909
L-carnitine (4--trimethylammonium-3-hydroxybutyric acid) is the physiologically active form of carnitine and is a natural compound that has been shown to exhibit antioxidant activity. L-carnitine is used as a supplementary treatment in patients with cirrhosis with hepatic encephalopathy, hyperammonemia or muscle cramps. In the present study, the effect of L-carnitine supplementation on health-related quality of life in 30 patients with cirrhosis was prospectively examined. L-carnitine (1,800 mg/day) was administered orally for 6 months. To assess the effects of L-carnitine on chronic fatigue, patients filled out a self-report questionnaire regarding their physical and mental health. The levels of total and free carnitine, and acylcarnitine were found to be significantly higher 1, 3 and 6 months after therapy initiation compared with before treatment. Serum albumin levels were significantly increased 3 and 6 months after initiation of therapy. L-carnitine supplementation significantly increased the BAP/d-ROM ratio, a marker of antioxidant status in patients with cirrhosis. Changes in serum carnitine concentrations were positively correlated with changes in serum albumin levels (R=0.369; P=0.012), but not with changes in serum ammonia levels (R= 0.005; P=0.78). Total and mental health scores improved significantly, and physical scores improved marginally 3 and 6 months after initiation of L-carnitine. These findings may be attributed to the enhanced serum albumin levels and oxidative stress rather than the reduced serum ammonia levels. Based on these results, it is suggested that L-carnitine can potentially alleviate chronic fatigue, along with the increased BAP/d-ROM ratio, which were involved in increased oxidative stress in patients with cirrhosis. The specific mechanisms by which L-carnitine ameliorates chronic fatigue is not fully understood and requires further investigation.