L-carnitine improves heart health

Doctors reviewed 13 studies, covering 3,629 people who have had a first heart attack.

Participants began taking the amino acid L-carnitine or a placebo along with other cardiovascular therapies. During the follow-up period after the heart attack, overall compared to placebo, those who had taken L-carnitine were 27 percent less likely to have passed away for any reason, were 41 percent less likely to experience chest pain, and were 65 percent less likely to have episodes of irregular heartbeat.

In several of the studies where participants continued to take L-carnitine for six months to a year, doctors said those that survived had more stable heart muscle cells and more healthy heart muscle tissue. The results suggest L-carnitine may improve survival after a first heart attack and help prevent a second one, doctors said.

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