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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

Authors Badrasawi M, Shahar S, Zahara AM, Nor Fadilah R, Singh DKA

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 anonymous peer review

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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