L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial

December 20, 2007

Scientists from the Department of Senescence, Urological, and Neurological Sciences at the University of Catania in Italy evaluated the ability of L-Carnitine to improve physical and mental fatigue and cognitive functions of centenarians. This is because Centenarians are characterized by weakness, decreasing mental health, impaired mobility, and poor endurance. L-Carnitine is an important contributor to cellular energy metabolism.

This was a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 2-phase study. Sixty-six centenarians with fatigue after even slight physical activity were recruited to the study. The 2 groups received either 2 g L-Carnitine once daily or inactive placebo.

At the end of the study period, the L-Carnitine-treated centenarians, compared with the placebo group, showed significant improvements in a drop of fat mass, total muscle mass (3.80 kg compared with 0.8 kg). Significant differences were also found in physical fatigue, mental fatigue, fatigue severity, and MMSE. Conclusions: The study shows that oral administration of L-Carnitine produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscle mass, and increases the capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions. The study is published in the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Fish oil capsules have the same effect on the level of omega-3 fatty acids in our blood cells as fresh fish

Scientists from the Lipid and Diabetes Research Center, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City compared the rate and extent of enrichment of blood cell membranes [ie, red blood cells (RBCs)] with Omega-3 fatty acids by comparing consuming oily fish weekly to a daily supplement of Fish Oil capsules to measure if they had an equal effect. This is because Omega-3 Fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whether Omega-3 FAs from oily fish consumed twice weekly or from fish-oil capsules taken daily are equally bioavailable is not clear.

Healthy premenopausal female volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a daily average of 485 mg EPA and DHA acids either from 2 servings of oily fish (ie, salmon and albacore tuna) per week or from 1-2 capsules a day.

After 16 wk, EPA+DHA in RBCs in the fish group increased from 4% of total FAs to 6.2%, whereas it rose from 4.3% to 6.2 % in the capsule group. These findings suggest that the consumption of equal amounts of EPA and DHA from oily fish on a twice-weekly basis or from fish-oil capsules on a daily basis is equally effective at enriching blood lipids with Omega-3 FAs. The study is published in the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.