High l-carnitine concentrations do not prevent late diabetic complications in type 1 and 2 diabetic patients

Edgars Liepinsh, Elina Skapare, Edijs Vavers, Ilze Konrade, Ieva Strele, Solveiga Grinberga, Osvalds Pugovics, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increased intake of . l-carnitine, a cofactor in cellular energy metabolism, is recommended for diabetic patients with late complications. However, its clinical benefits remain controversial. We hypothesized that patients with low . l-carnitine levels would have an increased rate of diabetic complications. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the relationship of . l-carnitine concentrations in blood with the prevalence and severity of late diabetic complications in type 1 and 2 diabetic patients. Human blood samples were collected from 93 and 87 patients diagnosed as having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, respectively, and 122 nondiabetic individuals. The determination of free . l-carnitine concentrations in whole blood lysates was performed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. In diabetic patients, diabetic complications such as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, or hypertension were recorded. The average . l-carnitine concentration in the blood of control subjects was 33 ± 8 nmol/mL, which was not significantly different from subgroups of patients with type 1 (32 ± 10 nmol/mL) or type 2 diabetes (36 ± 11 nmol/mL). Patients with low (<20 nmol/mL) . l-carnitine levels did not have increased occurrences of late diabetic complications. In addition, patient subgroups with higher . l-carnitine concentrations did not have decreased prevalence of late diabetic complications. Our results provide evidence that higher . l-carnitine concentrations do not prevent late diabetic complications in type 1 and 2 diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Research
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • L-Carnitine
  • Late complications
  • Nephropathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Retinopathy

Field of Science

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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