HOUSTON A study published in last month’s edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that dietary supplementation with L-carnitine can lessen fatigue and boost mental function in very old people.
Study participants given L-carnitine also experienced significant increases in muscle mass and reductions in fat mass, lead author Mariano Malaguarnera of the University of Catania reported.
To help determine if supplementation with L-carnitine might improve energy levels in people older than 100, Malaguarnera’s team employed a randomized trial of 66 male and female elders using either 2 grams of L-carnitine or a placebo daily for six months.
Cholesterol levels fell significantly among the individuals taking the supplement. L-carnitine takers also gained approximately 8.4 pounds of muscle mass, on average, and lost 4 pounds of fat.
Study participants in the L-carnitine group also reported significant reductions in mental, physical and overall fatigue, while placebo treatment had no effect on fatigue.
“Our study indicates that oral administration of levocarnitine produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscular mass and facilitates an increased capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions,” the study concluded.