Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There are currently limited therapeutic options to lower Lp(a) levels. L-Carnitine has been reported to reduce Lp(a) levels. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of L-carnitine/simvastatin co-administration with that of simvastatin monotherapy on Lp(a) levels in subjects with mixed hyperlipidemia and elevated Lp(a) concentration. Subjects with levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >160 mg/dL, triacylglycerol (TAG) >150 mg/dL and Lp(a) >20 mg/dL were included in this study. Subjects were randomly allocated to receive L-carnitine 2 g/day plus simvastatin 20 mg/day (N = 29) or placebo plus simvastatin 20 mg/day (N = 29) for a total of 12 weeks. Lp(a) was significantly reduced in the L-carnitine/simvastatin group [-19.4%, from 52 (20-171) to 42 (15-102) mg/dL; p = 0.01], but not in the placebo/simvastatin group [-6.7%, from 56 (26-108) to 52 (27-93) mg/dL, p = NS versus baseline and p = 0.016 for the comparison between groups]. Similar significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL-C, apolipoprotein (apo) B and TAG were observed in both groups. Co-administration of L-carnitine with simvastatin was associated with a significant, albeit modest, reduction in Lp(a) compared with simvastatin monotherapy in subjects with mixed hyperlipidemia and elevated baseline Lp(a) levels.
Keywords: L-Carnitine; Lipoprotein (a); Simvastatin; Triglycerides.