Plasma L-carnitine levels of obese and non-obese polycystic ovary syndrome patients

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2017 May;37(4):476-479. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2016.1264375. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


It is well-known that plasma L-carnitine concentrations are significantly decreased in obese individuals. A study showed that L-carnitine concentrations are significantly lower in lean PCOS patients than in lean healthy women. Thus, it has been suggested that lowered L-carnitine is associated with PCOS. This study also showed that the women with PCOS had significantly lower L-carnitine levels than those of the healthy controls. In addition, this study hypothesised that low L-carnitine levels in PCOS patients were associated with obesity and/or insulin resistance. Moreover, plasma L-carnitine concentrations were found to be statistically similar in PCOS patients and healthy controls, when controlled for obesity. This study implied that L-carnitine could be used as an adjunctive therapy in the management of insulin resistance or obesity in women who have PCOS. Further research might be planned to clarify the clinical effects of L-carnitine administration in PCOS patients with insulin resistance and/or obesity.

Keywords: L-Carnitine; obesity; polycystic ovary syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carnitine / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / classification
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Carnitine