ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help

|
|
|
|
 
Print Page
Email Article

Study Finds Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS) Symptoms Improve With L-Carnitine Supplementation

  [ 348 votes ]   [ Post a Comment ]
www.ProHealth.com • April 1, 1998

previous article next article

The nutritional supplement L-Carnitine appears to be a promising treatment for chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), according to an article published in the medical journal Neuropsychobiology (1997; 35:16-23).

Dr. Audrius V. Plioplys, of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Center and Department of Research at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, authored the article. He conducted a crossover study examining the prescription anti-viral drug amantadine and L-Carnitine treatment of CFIDS and found that L-Carnitine yielded the best results of the two. "L-Carnitine was found to promote statistically significant clinical improvement in 12 of 18 chronic fatigue patients," Dr. Plioplys reports. "L-Carnitine is a very safe and very well-tolerated therapy which improves the clinical status of CFIDS patients," he says. "Along with helping to reduce physical fatigue, our study showed that L-Carnitine also helped aspects related to depression as well as mental fatigue."

According to Dr. Plioplys, it has been scientifically established that orally administered L-Carnitine is an effective therapy in treating the fatigue seen in a number of chronic neurologic diseases. "Perhaps the L-Carnitine helps provide the cells of CFIDS patients with a useful energy source," he ventures. "Further study is warranted."

While L-Carnitine markedly improved a constellation of CFIDS symptoms, amantadine was tolerated quite poorly by study participants. In fact, only 15 of the 30 individuals taking it were able to complete eight weeks of treatment; the other 15 had to stop taking the medicine due to side effects. In those participants who completed the treatment, there was no statistically significant difference in any of the clinical parameters that were followed. "We were surprised to see how badly people did on amantadine," says Dr. Plioplys. "Amantadine is one of the most effective medicines for treating the fatigue seen in multiple sclerosis patients, but it did not help CFIDS patients in our study."

CFIDS is a disorder of unknown cause for which no effective treatment exists. The incidence of CFIDS, as diagnosed using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, is greater than one half a million cases in the United States, and could be much higher. About 80 percent of reported cases are women. The multitude of CFIDS symptoms includes persistent, disabling fatigue which causes a substantial reduction in activity level. Other symptoms include recurrent infections, sleep disturbances, neurocognitive dysfunction or "brain fog," flu-like episodes, muscle pain and weakness, low-grade fever, sore throat, headache, swelling and tenderness of lymph nodes, and bowel disorders.

Patients in the trial ingested one gram of L-Carnitine in tablet form three times a day for eight weeks. As the greatest improvement in patients took place between the fourth and eighth weeks of L-Carnitine treatment, "...it follows that individuals should take one gram of this supplement, three times a day, for at least eight weeks to see if it helps their condition," says Dr. Plioplys. "Make sure that you always take L-Carnitine, and never any other form of carnitine, such as the D form, which can be toxic when taken in large amounts."

L-Carnitine is synthesized in the human body, mainly in the liver and kidneys, from essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. Carnitine's main function in the body is to transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, which serve as the metabolic furnaces of the cells. Given that fatty acids are the major sources for production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it's easy to understand why L-Carnitine may literally stoke up the body's energy reserves. "Previous research investigations have reported decreased carnitine levels in CFIDS patients," says Dr. Plioplys. "Disturbance in mitochondrial function may contribute to or cause the fatigue seen in CFIDS patients."

According to Sheldon Hendler, M.D., PhD., writing in The Doctor's Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia, carnitine is a vital energy source for the muscles and increases the use of fat as an energy source. By helping burn fat, carnitine helps prevent fatty build-up in the heart, liver, skeletal muscles, and other areas. Carnitine can be made by the body only if the necessary amounts of iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and the amino acids lysine and methionine are present.

Carnitine synthesis also depends on there being appropriate vitamin C levels in the body. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can result in a carnitine deficiency. Carnitine can also be obtained from meat and other foods of animal origin. In addition, carnitine has been proven to lower health risks caused by inefficient fat metabolism associated with diabetes. L-carnitine has also been reported to lessen the risk of heart disorders, by inhibiting alcohol-induced fatty liver.

Because L-Carnitine yielded such positive results in his research trial, Dr. Plioplys is planning a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial that will further study L-Carnitine supplementation in CFIDS patients. "Our grant proposal is under review," he says. "We're hoping that the study will be carried out in the near future."

Source: Dr. Audrius V. Plioplys;Sheldon Hendler

previous article
  Rating 3.3 (348 votes) next article




DISCUSS THIS ARTICLE   (0 existing comments) Post a Comment 




[ Be the first to comment on this article ]




 
Free Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Newsletters
Subscribe to
Our FREE
Newsletter
Subscribe Now!
Receive up-to-date ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia treatment and research news
 Privacy Guaranteed  |  View Archives

Save on Your Next Order

Featured Products
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Natural Resveratrol Natural Resveratrol
Powerful Antioxidant Support + Positive Anti-aging Effects
Omega 3-6-9 Omega 3-6-9
All three EFAs in one convenient form
FibroSleep™ by ProHealth FibroSleep™ by ProHealth
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid

Most Viewed Articles
What's the Hidden Cause Behind YOUR Fibromyalgia Flares? [more]

Pridgen Reports Fibromyalgia Antiviral Trial Results “Very Positive”: Predicts New Approach Will Be ... [more]

VIDEO: IACFS/ME Conference - Summary of Research by Dr. Komaroff [more]

How to Limit or Minimize Your Fibromyalgia Flare [more]

Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Post-Exertional Malaise and CFS/ME [more]

The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Sy... [more]

Sympathetic Nervous System Dysfunction in FIbromyalgia and Overlapping Conditions [more]

Review of Nutritional Supplements Used for ME/CFS and FM [more]

FREE: Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN Guide [more]

Sympathetic nervous system dysfunction in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel sy... [more]


FIBROMYALGIA RESOURCES
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia 101
Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia Treatments
| CFS RESOURCES
What is CFS?
ME/CFS 101
ME/CFS Symptoms
ME/CFS Treatments
| FORUMS
Fibromyalgia
ME/CFS
ADVANCED MEDICAL LABS
WHOLESALE  |  AFFILIATES
GUARANTEE
CONTACT US
PRIVACY
RSS
SITE MAP
ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus
Credit Card Processing