Effect of carnitine on serum HDL-cholesterol: report of two cases

Johns Hopkins Med J. 1982 Feb;150(2):51-4.


In two otherwise normal male subjects selected for normal serum cholesterol and triglycerides but low serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, oral administration of 1 g per day of L-carnitine over a period of 10-15 weeks caused a substantial increase in high-density lipoprotein levels, as well as a decrease in serum triglycerides. The ratio of HDL-cholesterol to total cholesterol increased, but this change was not due to an obligatory lowering of total cholesterol. Possible mechanisms of the carnitine effect are discussed. Since elevated high-density lipoprotein levels significantly reduce the risk of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, this action of carnitine deserves further study.

MeSH terms

  • Carnitine / pharmacology*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Carnitine