Carnitine is a group of related compounds naturally produced by the human body that have a role in energy production, metabolism and other vital cellular functions particularly related to the mitochodria.
In my recent piece on supplements for hypothyroidism, I referenced an experimental study demonstrating that L-Carnitine (one form of supplemental carnitine) may reduce fatigue in those living with hypothyroidism.
Soon after writing it, I came to realize that L-carnitine also been studied in the context of PCOS, a topic which I’ve also written about on a few occasions recently.
With that in mind, the goal of today’s article is to close the loop.
Let’s get right to it.
L-Carnitine And PCOS
It’s possible but not definite that women living with PCOS may have lower circulating carnitine levels than woman who are not.
This finding creates a natural curiosity around the role of carnitine supplementation in PCOS but doesn’t guarantee it will actually help.
Here are some recent findings to consider:
A 2021 study out of the Advances In Therapy journal found that supplementation with a specific type of L-carnitine ( acetyl-L carnitine or ALC) provided additional benefits to women with PCOS who were already being treated with metformin and pioglitazone.
A 2019 study out of the Journal Of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that women living with PCOS who took L-carnitine in conjuction with letrozole had improved ovulation rates.
The above are a sample of more recently published studies looking at L-carnitine supplementation in very specific sub-contexts of PCOS, if you’d like to take a closer look at some of the other research done on this supplement I encourage you to head over to page 4 of “Role Of L-Carnitine in female infertility” published in Reproductive Biology And Endocrinology.
Looking For More PCOS & Women’s Health Content?
Today’s article provides a very quick glimpse at a supplement of interest in the world of women’s health and is admittedly particularly brief as it was meant as nothing more than an addendum to my previous piece on the best supplements for PCOS (below)
If you are interested in learning more about the state of the evidence around nutrition/supplementation for PCOS and other relevant women’s health concerns, I’ve attached my most relevant articles below – I sincerely hope you find them insightful.
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH