Carnitine improves exercise tolerance and respiratory muscle strength in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Daniela Bassi Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy Laboratory, Nucleus of Research in Physical Exercise, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR)
  • Aureluce Demonte Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of São Paulo - Júlio de Mesquita Filho
  • Leonardo Cardello Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of São Paulo - Júlio de Mesquita Filho
  • Dirceu Costa Nove de Julho University, Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Julio Marchini Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil
  • Audrey Borgui-Silva Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy Laboratory, Nucleus of Research in Physical Exercise, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR)
Keywords: COPD, L-Carnitine, Respiratory muscle strength, Exercise, Dietary supplements.

Abstract

Objective: We evaluated the safety and effects of L-carnitine on exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Methods: Prospective double blind study. Thirty four patients were screened; however, only 8 completed the study. Elderly men with COPD (70±4 years) participated of incremental and submaximal exercise testing, maximal inspiratory (PImax) and expiratory pressures (PEmax) and blood sample analysis to determine plasmatic free L-carnitine. Protocols consisted of placebo supplementation during the first 6 weeks (glucose solution in 2 daily doses) and L-carnitine supplementation (two times a day, i.e., 2 g daily in water solution) after more 6 weeks. Patients did not know if they were receiving glucose (placebo) or carnitine. Patients were evaluated before and after placebo and supplementation. Data were analyzed by repeated measures analysis (ANOVA). Delta of change was compared by Student t test. Correlations between deltas of walking distance, PImax with plasmatic free L-carnitine were performed by Pearson’s test.Results: Placebo did not change plasmatic free L-carnitine, exercise capacity and pulmonary function. However, after 6 weeks of L-carnitine supplementation, plasmatic free L-carnitine (from 56±9 to 87±16μMol/L), submaximal exercise (from 446±47 to 498±35m), PImax (from 56±13 to 74±10cmH2O) and PEmax (from 65±12 to 85±12cmH2O) significantly improved. Significant correlation was found between PImax and plasmatic free L-carnitine (r=0.65 and p=0.04). In addition, during L-carnitine supplementation no signals of intolerance or collateral effects were observed.Conclusion: L-carnitine supplementation appeared to be safe, well-tolerated and positively influenced exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength in COPD patients.

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Published
03-04-2014
How to Cite
BASSI, D.; DEMONTE, A.; CARDELLO, L.; COSTA, D.; MARCHINI, J.; BORGUI-SILVA, A. Carnitine improves exercise tolerance and respiratory muscle strength in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal of Respiratory and CardioVascular Physical Therapy, v. 2, n. 1, p. 20-29, 3 abr. 2014.
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Artigos