Efficacy of L-carnitine supplementation on frailty status and its biomarkers, nutritional status, and physical and cognitive function among prefrail older adults: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial
Received 21 May 2016
Accepted for publication 17 June 2016
Published 17 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1675—1686
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
M Badrasawi,1,2 Suzana Shahar,1 AM Zahara,1 R Nor Fadilah,3 Devinder Kaur Ajit Singh4
1Dietetic Programme, School of Healthcare Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Nutrition Program, Faulty of Applied Sciences, Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron, Palestine; 3Biomedical Programme, School of Healthcare Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 4Physiotherapy Programme, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Background: Frailty is a biological syndrome of decreased reserve and resistance to stressors due to decline in multiple physiological systems. Amino acid deficiency, including L-carnitine, has been proposed to be associated with its pathophysiology. Nevertheless, the efficacy of L-carnitine supplementation on frailty status has not been documented. Thus, this study aimed to determine the effect of 10-week L-carnitine supplement (1.5 g/day) on frailty status and its biomarkers and also physical function, cognition, and nutritional status among prefrail older adults in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
Methodology: This study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted among 50 prefrail subjects randomized into two groups (26 in L-carnitine group and 24 in placebo group). Outcome measures include frailty status using Fried criteria and Frailty Index accumulation of deficit, selected frailty biomarkers (interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and insulin-like growth factor-1), physical function, cognitive function, nutritional status and biochemical profile.
Results: The results indicated that the mean scores of Frailty Index score and hand grip test were significantly improved in subjects supplemented with L-carnitine (P<0.05 for both parameters) as compared to no change in the placebo group. Based on Fried criteria, four subjects (three from the L-carnitine group and one from the control group) transited from prefrail status to robust after the intervention.
Conclusion: L-carnitine supplementation has a favorable effect on the functional status and fatigue in prefrail older adults.
Keywords: frailty, Fried criteria, Frailty Index accumulation of deficit, L-carnitine supplementation, prefrail elderly, physical function, frailty biomarkers, randomized controlled clinical trial
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