L-Carnitine and CoQ10 combination for mitochondrial energy and heart health

L-Carnitine and CoQ10 combination for mitochondrial energy and heart health

In our earlier article, we have discussed the roles of Coenzyme Q10 in energy generation and in the protection of heart or cardiovascular disease. Coenzyme Q10 helps cell powerhouse mitochondria in generating energy from carbohydrates and fatty acids. Coenzyme Q10 not only supports the energy generation process like a spark but also additionally acts as a powerful antioxidant in mitochondrial membranes. (1,2)On the other hand L-carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid derivative involves transporting fatty acid to mitochondria. So do they work in synergy? Does the combination of L Carnitine and COQ10 work better for mitochondrial energy and heart health? Let,s dig more. 

Also read Coenzyme Q10 deficiency risk, causes and symptoms.

L-Carnitine and CoQ10 combination for mitochondrial energy and heart health

What is L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that is found in nearly all cells of the body. The name carnitine is derived from the Latin carnus or flesh. (3)Food sources include animal and milk products.

The main role of L-Carnitine involves mitochondrial function and energy generation. It helps in transporting fats (long-chained fatty acids) to mitochondria to use as energy. (4) L-Carnitine may help in improving mitochondrial function and thus prevents diseases as well as promote healthy aging. (5)   

L-carnitine in heart function and cardiovascular health

Several studies examined the effectiveness of L. Carnitine in the management of blood flow including heart tissue. Also, L. Carnitine levels were low in heart failing muscle. L. Carnitine reduces the risk of heart attack by counteracting the toxic effect of high levels of free fatty acids and by improving carbohydrate metabolism. (3,6)

L-carnitine in heart function and ability to perform exercise

Study showed people who took L-carnitine after suffering heart attack had a significant lower mortality rate than who didn’t. They found a 1.2 percent mortality rate in L-carnitine takers compared to 12.5 percent in the control group. (7) One randomized placebo-controlled study on people with heart failure found people taking 2 g of L-carnitine had 3 years higher survival rate than placebo.(8)L-carnitine also improves the ability to perform exercises in people with angina or chest pain without pain. (9,10)

L-carnitine as antioxidant defense and improvement of endothelial function

Oxidation of lipids promotes the narrowing of the blood vessel, as well as the development of atherosclerosis, which is recognized as a major risk factor of heart disease. Increased oxidative stress is associated with all cardiovascular risk factors. Oxidative stress plays an important role in platelet activation and the endothelial or inner line of blood vessel dysfunction.

L-Carnitine and CoQ10 combination for mitochondrial energy and heart health

Study showed Carnitines incubation significantly increased HO-1 as well as endothelial nitric oxide gene and protein expression. As HO-1 and nitric oxide are known as antioxidant, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory, their increased expression would be expected to protect from oxidative stress. (11) The release of nitric oxide in the endothelial or inner line of blood vessels keeps moistening the lining of the blood vessel which improves the health of blood vessels and circulation. And therefore the release of nitric oxide improves endothelial function as well as prevents plaque formation or atherosclerosis. Vitro and animal studies, as well as some human studies, favor the preventive effects of L-carnitine and its derivatives on endothelial dysfunction and platelet aggregation. (12)

In human clinical studies apart from favorable results in lipid profiles L-carnitine supplementation significantly reduced oxidative stress as well as increased antioxidant enzyme activities in people with heart disease.(13,14) L-carnitine also significantly decreased serum LDL as well as inflammatory response C reactive protein of CRP in meta-analysis. (15)

A 2013 meta-analysis of controlled trials published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings concluded that L-carnitine reduces 27% in all-cause mortality, a 65% in abnormal heartbeats, and a 40% reduction in chest pain in peoples experiencing an acute heart attack. (16)

L-Carnitine and CoQ10 combination for mitochondrial energy and heart health

Your heart is an organ with most metabolically active tissues that work constantly without any rest for your whole life. That’s why your heart tissues need proper energy as well as other supports. Apart from other roles both Coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine preserves mitochondrial function as well as involves in mitochondrial energy generation. (17) 

In the animal study, CoenzymeQ10 and L-carnitine supplementation have a beneficial effect on cholesterol-lowering drug stain induced pancreatic mitochondrial toxicity. (18) Researchers indicate the combination of L- carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 has shown a more beneficial effect on mitochondrial disorder than using separately. (19,20) In a Mini-Review and Clinical Trial CoQ10, L-Carnitine and other cocktail antioxidants like vitamin C, B, E, and zinc and selenium had increased total serum antioxidant status in people with HIV. (21)

In most lifestyle intervention program like increasing antioxidant intake seems to improve quality of life. Studies demonstrated being potent antioxidants both CoenzymeQ10 and L-carnitine improves the quality of life in people with heart failure, cardiovascular, and also kidney disease. Research published in the Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Research indicates that supplementation with coenzyme Q 10 and L-carnitine improved the well-being of patients with heart disease. They found supplementing CoQ10 150 mg/d and L-carnitine 1200 mg/d for three months showed a significant improvement in both physical and emotional quality of life. The researchers suggested that the coenzyme Q 10 and L-carnitine may have a positive effect on muscle as well as red blood cells (22, 23)

Apart from that the combination also showed beneficial effects in migraine pain in clinical study. (24)

Related articles to heart health:

Heart disease is multifactorial. So what you should know to prevent heart disease

Foods that lower high cholesterol naturally

Best foods to lower high blood pressure

Arterial calcium deposition is a major risk factor in the development of heart disease. Know how crucial vitamin K2 improves your cardiovascular health by preventing calcium deposition in blood vessels and placing calcium in bones.

How Coenzyme Q10 helps mitochondrial energy generation as well as improve heart health

Tocotrienols form of vitamin E have very powerful presence in the management of cholesterol.

What should you know in choosing the right cooking oil for your kitchen

Roles of omega 3 fatty acids for not only for your heart health also for overall health

Role of pantethine metabolically active derivative of vitamin B5 in reducing lip oxidation and management.

Daily dose of coenzyme Q10

A typical dose of CoQ10 ranges 90–200 mg per day depending upon varying health conditions. Side effects appear as rare and mild like diarrhea, nausea, and heartburn in some cases. Pregnant, lactating as well as an individual under medication should consult with a healthcare provider first.

Daily dose of L-Carnitine

A safe daily dose of L-carnitine ranges up to 2 g per day with two to three divided doses. (25) But a higher dose may be risky. Similarly pregnant, lactating as well as individuals with specific health conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before application.

Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information 
for educational purpose only,  not intended to provide any 
medical advice or replace the practice of a qualified 
practitioner. Different people may have different health 
condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence 
it has been advised to consult with health care provider before 
application of any of above guidelines.
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Bikramjit Konwar

Author: Bikramjit Konwar


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