Carnitine and its role in cardiovascular disease.
Heart Dis 1999 May-Jun;1(2):108-13
L-carnitine and its derivative, propionyl-L-carnitine, are organic amines
produced and metabolized endogenously. These compounds are essential in
the process of fatty acid oxidation and have also been shown to reduce
intracellular accumulation of toxic metabolites during ischemia. Currently,
exogenous administration of carnitine is indicated only as therapy for
primary and secondary carnitine deficiency. However, it has been hypothesized
that because of its ability to enhance energy production and remove toxic
metabolites during ischemia, carnitine therapy may be useful in the treatment
of various cardiac diseases. In fact, there is increasing evidence that
endogenous carnitine has beneficial effects in the treatment of congestive
heart failure, arrhythmia, peripheral vascular disease, and acute ischemia.