Background & aims: Several randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have investigated the effect of l-carnitine supplementation on lipid profile and glycaemic control in adults with cardiovascular risk factors; however, the results were conflicting. Therefore, a meta-analysis was performed to assess the eﬀect of l-carnitine on lipid profile and glycaemic control in adults with cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Databases, Google Scholar, ProQuest, Web of Science and Embase for randomized, placebo-controlled human trials that investigated the effect of l-carnitine supplementation on lipid profile and glycaemic control up to April 2017. From the eligible trials, 24 articles were selected for the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis was performed in a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was determined by I2 statistics and Cochrane Q test.
Results: The result showed significant effect of l-carnitine on TC (WMD: -13.73 [95% CI: -22.28, -5.17] mg/dL; P < 0.001), LDL-C (WMD = - 7.70 [95% CI: - 11.80, -3.61]mg/dL; p < 0.001), HDL-C (WMD = 0.82 [95% CI: 0.44, 1.21] mg/dL; P > 0.001), Lp(a) (WMD = - 7.13 [95% CI: -9.82,- 4.43]mg/dL; P < 0.001), FPG (WMD = -6.25 [95% CI: -10.35, -2.16] mg/dL; P < 0.001), HbA1C (WMD (%) = - 0.35 [95% CI: -0.65,- 0.05]; p = 0.02) and HOMA-IR (WMD (%) = - 0.94 [95% CI: -1.89, -0.00]; P = 0.05). No effect of l-carnitine was detected in TG, Apo A-I and Apo B 100 on pooled effect size. Additionally, sensitivity analysis showed l-carnitine supplementation could improve glycaemic control, particularly along with hypocaloric diet.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis showed that l-carnitine supplementation could improve lipid profile levels, particularly in doses more than 1500 mg/day. More RCTs with large sample sizes, focusing on gut microbiome profiles and dietary patterns are needed to better understand the effect of l-carnitine on patients with cardiovascular risk factors.
Keywords: Glucose; Lipid profile; Low-calorie diet; Systematic review; l-carnitine.
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