L-carnitine supplementation does not promote weight loss in ovariectomized rats despite endurance exercise

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2005 Mar;75(2):156-60. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.75.2.156.


In this five-week study, we tested the hypotheses that free access to a maintenance diet supplemented with L-carnitine (L-C) would reduce body fat in adult, sedentary, ovariectomized (OVX) rats, and that there would be an additive effect of L-C on weight reduction in swim-trained animals. As expected, serum carnitine was higher in rats fed the L-C diet, and the OVX-induced weight gain and abdominal fat were counteracted by swimming. L-C supplementation did not reduce the weight gain or abdominal fat in these adult female rats, Moreover, though not reaching statistical significance, rats that were fed L-C demonstrated a tendency for greater weight gain than their basal-fed counterparts despite no difference in energy intake. If the results of this study on ovariectomized rats can be translated to postmenopausal women, moderate intensity exercise may be recommended, but L-C supplementation, with no energy restriction, may be contraindicated as a weight loss method in this cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Carnitine / administration & dosage*
  • Carnitine / blood
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Swimming
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Carnitine