Favorable effects of L-carnitine treatment on hypertriglyceridemia in hemodialysis patients: decisive role of low levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol

Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Oct;38(4):532-40. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/38.4.532.


Twenty-nine hemodialyzed patients with hypertriglyceridemia were given L-carnitine (20 mg/kg iv at the end of each dialysis) for 120 days and then placebo for the same duration in order to evaluate the lipid-lowering effects of the metabolite. A dramatic reduction in triglyceride levels was observed only in the group of patients (n = 12) with high basal triglyceride values, low levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and with apoprotein A at the lower limit of normal range. During L-carnitine treatment these patients exhibited significantly increased high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and apoprotein A. No rebound effects were observed. L-Carnitine did not provoke changes in the lipid parameters in the group (n = 17) with high basal triglyceride values, and normal high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and apoprotein A. Hematocrit values increased in all the 29 patients during L-carnitine treatment. At the end of the experimental protocol, L-carnitine dosage was increased to 60 mg/kg iv (at the end of each dialysis) in four patients of the group of nonresponders and prolonged for 60 days. This produced a considerable reduction in triglyceride levels. The above results suggest that L-carnitine can be effective in the management of hypertriglyceridemia in the hemodialyzed patient especially when low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels are present.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Apolipoproteins A
  • Carnitine / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Apolipoproteins A
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Carnitine