Disclosures: Hamedi-kalajahi reports no relevant financial disclosures.
March 24, 2022
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Children on hemodialysis may benefit from L-carnitine supplementation

Disclosures: Hamedi-kalajahi reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Pediatric patients on hemodialysis may benefit from L-carnitine supplementation due to the potential benefits it may have on inflammation and cardiovascular events, according to data published in the Journal Renal Nutrition.

“Studies on adult hemodialysis patients have shown positive effects of L-carnitine therapy on reducing inflammatory factors and insulin resistance. However, till date, no study has been conducted to assess the effect of L-carnitine supplementation on these factors in hemodialysis children,” Fatemeh Hamedi-kalajahi, MSc, and colleagues wrote. “Therefore, we conducted this study with the purpose of investigating the effect of L-carnitine supplementation on inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar, as the risk factors of cardiovascular disease among hemodialysis children.”

Kidneys in someone's hands
Source: Adobe Stock

In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers examined 24 children on hemodialysis for a 10-week period. Researchers measured mined serum free carnitine, interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), fasting blood sugar, and albumin and pediatrics quality of life scores at baseline, then again after the 10 weeks.

Researchers randomized 12 patients to receive 50 mg/kg of L-carnitine and the remaining 12 patients to receive a placebo on a weekly basis for 10 weeks. Using the one-way repeated measures analysis, researchers measured the impact of L-carnitine supplementation.

While the change was not significant compared with the placebo group, analyses revealed patients consuming oral L-carnitine supplementation for 10 weeks experienced a decline in high-sensitivity CRP. However, L-carnitine supplementation reduced serum levels of IL-6 and fasting blood sugar, leading to an increase in serum free carnitine and pediatrics quality of life scores compared with the placebo group.

L-carnitine showed no impact on serum albumin levels.

“Given the significant reduction in IL-6 levels, L-carnitine supplementation may have positive effects on inflammation reduction and cardiovascular events in these patients. In addition, the significant fasting blood sugar’s lowering effect of L-carnitine can be helpful in glycemic control in pediatric end-stage renal disease patients with glucose metabolism disorders. Moreover, a significant increase in free carnitine and pediatrics quality of life score can indicate the effective role of L-carnitine supplementation on quality of life of these children,” Hamedi-kalajahi and colleagues wrote. “To obtain more effective results, longer durations of L-carnitine therapy with larger sample sizes and various dialysis modalities are recommended for future studies.”