l-carnitine and cancer cachexia: Clinical and experimental aspects

We present here a review of clinical and experimental evidence regarding the use of carnitine supplementation in the management of cancer cachexia

Renata Silvério

2011

Scholarcy highlights

  • Cancer cachexia is a paraneoplastic syndrome present in 80% of terminally ill patients and is markedly associated with adverse prognosis and shortened survival time
  • We present here a review on clinical and experimental evidence concerning the use of carnitine supplementation in the management of cancer cachexia
  • No remarkable changes were documented in type IIb fibers. These findings suggest a specific effect of L-carnitine on type I and IIa fibers, which are characterized by predominant oxidative metabolism and require carnitine for fatty oxidation to produce energy
  • A preliminary analysis to determine the effects of 1 week of L-carnitine supplementation in cancer patients with fatigue and carnitine deficiency showed a significant improvement on fatigue, depression, and sleep disruption
  • Considering the positive results supported by studies, Lcarnitine appears a very interesting agent in the treatment of cancer cachexia
  • At the basic research level, it is important to comprehensively address the molecular pathways involved in the effect of L-carnitine supplementation and to extend the knowledge regarding the response of other organs and tissues, beyond the liver and muscle
  • For instance, that the white adipose tissue, References

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