Angina PectorisCarnitineHeart Disease

Should L-carnitine be taken to treat angina pectoris?

Dr. Gayle Nicholas Scott at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, reviewed the evidence on Medscape .

Here’s what we know.

  • Levocarnitine or L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid.
  • It’s absorbed from dietary sources including red meat.
  • Heart muscle normally contains high levels of L-carnitine, but levels are lower in ischemia, leading to impaired electrical and contractile activities of the heart.
  • The results from 2 studies of poor design conducted more than 10 years ago were positive for L-carnitine.
  • Since then, interest in its use for angina pectoris dwindled.

The bottom line?

The author concluded that L-carnitine “remains an unproven approach to the treatment of angina.”

11/16/10 19:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.