The therapeutic potential of carnitine in cardiovascular disorders.Clin Ther. 1991 Jan-Feb; 13(1):2-21; discussion 1.CT
The naturally occurring compound L-carnitine plays an essential role in fatty acid metabolism. It is only by combining with carnitine that the activated long-chain fatty acyl coenzyme A esters in the cytosol are able to be transported to the mitochondrial matrix where beta-oxidation occurs. Carnitine also functions in the removal of compounds that are toxic to metabolic pathways. Clinical evidence indicates that carnitine may have a role in the management of a number of cardiovascular disorders. Supplemental administration of carnitine has been shown to reverse cardiomyopathy in patients with systemic carnitine deficiency. Experimental evidence obtained in laboratory animals and the initial clinical experience in man indicate that carnitine may also have potential in the management of both chronic and acute ischemic syndromes. Peripheral vascular disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity are other cardiovascular conditions that may benefit from carnitine administration, although at this time data on the use of carnitine for these indications are very preliminary.