L-Carnitine improves the health of patients with autism spectrum disorders

June 02, 2011

Patients with autism have a faulty ability to create energy. This is because the tiny power-plants found in quantity in each cell of the body do not function properly. These power-plants are called mitochondria. In the mitochondria fuel from food is converted into energy and is responsible for over ninety-percent of the body’s energy needs. L-Carnitine is a vitamin like substance that works in the mitochondria making it easier to create energy.

Researchers from the Institute of Chronic Illnesses in Silver Spring Maryland enrolled thirty patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder into their study. Nineteen of these patients received 50 mg per kg of body weight per day of L-Carnitine for three-months and the other eleven were given inactive placebo.

Different scales were used to assess any benefit from L-Carnitine supplementation. The following scales significantly improved on L-Carnitine; CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale), CGI (Modified Clinical Global Impression), and ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist).

Significant correlations between increases in serum L-Carnitine levels were observed for improved hand muscle strength, cognitive scores and L-Carnitine was generally well tolerated with greater than an 85% compliance rate. The study is published in the June 2011 issue of the journal Medical Science Monitoring