A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 50 pre-frail individuals (mean age 68.5 years) with a dose of L-carnitine at a dose of 1.5 g per day or placebo for 10 weeks.
Primary Outcome Measures: Frailty Index score (an indicator of the degree of frailty) and handgrip strength.
Key Findings: The mean Frailty Index score improved to a significantly greater degree in the L-carnitine group than in the placebo group (34.4% vs. 2.1%; p < 0.001). Mean handgrip strength increased by 7.2% in the L-carnitine group and decreased by 3.6% in the placebo group (p < 0.05 for the difference in the change between groups).
Practice Implications: Carnitine plays a role in energy production by facilitating the transport of fatty acids into mitochondria. In previous research, L-carnitine improved symptoms of fatigue in centenarians, decreased symptoms of angina in patients with cardiovascular disease, and increased exercise capacity in people with congestive heart failure. In the present study, L-carnitine improved functional status in pre-frail older Malaysian adults. L-Carnitine supplementation should therefore be considered for the treatment of various manifestations of age-related decline.