Effects of Carnitine Administration on Carotid Intima‑media Thickness and Inflammatory Factors in Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized, Double‑blind, Placebo‑controlled Trial

Hamid Reza Talari, Zeinab Jafari Azad, Yaser Hamidian, Mansooreh Samimi, Hamid Reza Gilasi, Faraneh Afshar Ebrahimi, Vahidreza Ostadmohammadi, Zatollah Asemi


Background: This study was performed to evaluate the effects of carnitine administration on carotid intima‑media thickness (CIMT) and inflammatory markers in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Methods: This randomized, double‑blind, placebo‑controlled trial was conducted among 60 women diagnosed with PCOS according to the Rotterdam criteria, aged 18–40 years. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups to intake either 250 mg/day carnitine (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) for 12 weeks. High‑resolution carotid ultrasonography was conducted at baseline and after the 12‑week intervention.

Results: After the 12‑week intervention, compared with the placebo, carnitine supplementation resulted in a signifcant decrease in maximum levels of the left CIMT (-0.01 ± 0.02 vs. +0.002 mm ± 0.006 mm, P = 0.001), mean levels of the left CIMT (-0.01 ± 0.02 vs. +0.001 mm ± 0.01 mm, P = 0.001), maximum levels of the right CIMT (-0.01 ± 0.02 vs. +0.006 mm ± 0.01 mm, P < 0.001), and mean levels of the right CIMT (-0.01 ± 0.02 vs. +0.002 mm ± 0.01 mm, P = 0.001). Change in plasma nitric oxide (NO) (+2.4 ± 3.6 vs. +0.2 ± 2.3 μmol/L, P = 0.007) was signifcantly different between the supplemented patients and placebo group. We did not see any signifcant effect in serum high sensitivity C‑reactive protein (hs‑CRP) following the supplementation of carnitine compared with the placebo.

Conclusions: Overall, carnitine administration for 12 weeks to participants with PCOS had benefcial effects on CIMT and plasma NO, but did not affect serum hs‑CRP levels.

Keywords: Carnitine, carotid intima‑media thickness, inflammation, polycystic ovary syndrome

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