L-carnitine supplementation may prevent pregnancy-related declines

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Carnitine

Daily supplements of L-carnitine during pregnancy may reverse the decline in the nutrient’s levels that occurs naturally during pregnancy, says a new study supported by Lonza.

Levels of carnitine have already been shown to decrease during pregnancy, while the reason is unknown. The new study suggests that this may be due to decrease in the rate of carnitine biosynthesis, which may be due to an inadequate iron status in the women.

Supplementation with L-carnitine was found to prevent that reduction in plasma carnitine levels that was observed in the women in the placebo group.

In the control group, there was a marked reduction of plasma carnitine concentration from the 12th week of gestation to term. This reduction was prevented by the supplementation of carnitine.

“We’re glad to be the first to show that even with a daily dose of 500 mg L-Carnitine the low plasma levels can be restored in pregnant women,”​ said lead researcher Professor Klaus Eder from Martin-Luther University in Germany.

Findings of the study, which used Lonza’s Carnipure ingredient and was funded by the Swiss company, are published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

L-Carnitine, a vitamin-like nutrient, occurs naturally in the human body and is essential for turning fat into energy. It is frequently used as a dietary supplement by physically active people to help with post-exercise recovery.

Lonza, which claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of L-Carnitine, has said that extensive scientific research shows the supplement promotes cardiovascular health and that other studies suggest the nutrient may be useful in weight management.

Study details

The German researchers recruited 26 healthy pregnant women and randomly assigned them to receive either a daily 500 mg L-carnitine supplement as L-carnitine L-tartrate, or placebo from week 13 of pregnancy until the birth of the child.

While the placebo group experienced a reduction in plasma carnitine levels during the course of the study, the women receiving the carnitine supplement did not.

According to Lonza, previous studies have indicated that restoring plasma levels of carnitine via supplementation during pregnancy may also help prevent the development of gestational diabetes, especially in overweight women, by decreasing elevated plasma free fatty acids.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print,doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.36
“Carnitine status of pregnant women: effect of carnitine supplementation and correlation between iron status and plasma carnitine concentration”
Authors: U. Keller, C. van der Wal, G. Seliger, C. Scheler, F. Ropke, K. Eder

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Actilight® and infant nutrition: new perspectives

Actilight® and infant nutrition: new perspectives

Tereos | 31-Aug-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Addition of prebiotic ingredients to formulas started around 30 years ago and is widely recognized by experts. Actilight® scFOS is safe for use in infant...

Business case: private label iron supplements

Business case: private label iron supplements

PharmaLinea Ltd. | 18-May-2021 | Case Study

A line of clinically supported private label iron supplements by PharmaLinea is selling nearly 500.000 units/year in a market of under 20 million people.

Time to rethink your probiotics for infant use

Time to rethink your probiotics for infant use

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. | 17-Sep-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Undoubtedly, probiotics-fortified infant nutrition products have hit the mainstream, and a baby-friendly concept is on the consumer radar. Morinaga's...

HRB probiotics: The gift of life for infant health

HRB probiotics: The gift of life for infant health

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. | 29-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Bifidobacteria are among the first colonizers of human gut, and certain species are recognised as Human-Residential Bifidobacteria (HRB) - the natural...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more