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Heart & Metabolism

  • L-carnitine and astaxanthin support human biology
    • L-carnitine helped regulate lipids and metabolism

    People take L-carnitine supplements to help regulate blood sugars and fats, but no major review of studies has evaluated these effects. In what doctors say is the first meta-analysis of its kind, researchers identified 15 random placebo-controlled trials on L-carnitine’s effects on insulin resistance, fasting blood glucose, lipid metabolism, and liver enzyme levels.

    Overall, compared to placebo, those taking L-carnitine saw average decreases in mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) for triglycerides, down -11.08 vs. -3.22; for total cholesterol, -6.45 vs. -2.95; and for LDL cholesterol, -8.28 vs. -5.47. For glucose factors, fasting blood sugar declined an average of -4.94 vs. -2.82. Insulin levels declined -0.99 vs. -0.56 microunits per milliliter, and insulin resistance decreased -0.58 vs. -0.38. Liver function also improved, with an inflammatory liver enzyme, alanine transaminase (ALT), decreasing -19.71 vs. -2.96 IU per liter for placebo.

    REFERENCE: FOOD & FUNCTION; 2023, NO. 5, 2277

    • Astaxanthin improves metabolism in obesity

    Earlier studies found astaxanthin reduced oxidative stress and enhanced lipid metabolism during exercise, and reduced inflammation in obesity. In this study, 68 men with obesity, average age 28, took a placebo, took high-intensity physical training, or took 20 mg of astaxanthin per day, with or without training, which included 36 one-hour high-intensity function exercises over three weeks.

    The best results were for those who took astaxanthin along with exercise. Weight declined from an average of 209.6 to 194.4 pounds. Fat mass decreased from 32.1 to 27.6 percent. Body mass index scores declined from 33.8 to 31.8. LDL cholesterol decreased from 129 to 112.5 mg/deciliter of blood, and triglycerides decreased from 244.9 to 214.8. Fasting blood sugar levels dropped from 105 to 75.5 mg/dL.

    Reference: Nutrients; 2023, Vol. 15, No. 2, 286

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