The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 11 No. 1 • January 2008

It’s Never Too Late! Improved Mental and Physical Performance in Centenarians Treated with L-Carnitine

A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in 66 centenarians who were suffering from the onset of fatigue with even slight physical activity. They were divided into two groups, in which individuals received either 2 grams of L-carnitine or placebo once daily for 6 months. They were tested for changes in total fat mass, total muscle mass, serum triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), activities of daily living, and a 6-minute walking corridor test.

The results showed that those receiving the L-carnitine achieved a reduction of total fat mass, an increase in total muscle mass, and increased physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions. For example, before L-carnitine treatment, the walking distance in meters was 10.2 ± 3.8, whereas after treatment the walking distance was significantly longer at 14.6 ± 3.9 meters. There was no significant difference between the before and after for those receiving placebo. Total fat-free mass in those receiving L-carnitine increased significantly from 35.1 ± 3.2 kg to 38.9 ± 3.9 kg. The MMSE improved significantly in the L-carnitine treated group but not in the placebo group.

We take L-acetylcarnitine, which is a more bioavailable form of L-carnitine, being better able to pass through cell membranes.


  1. Malaguarnera et al. L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 86:1738-44 (2007).

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