L-Carnitine Supplementation to Diet: A New Tool in Treatment of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis – A Randomized and Controlled Clinical Trial

Authors and Disclosures

Mariano Malaguarnera AP; Maria Pia Gargante MD; Cristina Russo MD; Tijana Antic MD; Marco Vacante MD; Michele Malaguarnera MD; Teresio Avitabile; Giovanni Li Volti AP; Fabio Galvano AP

Posted: 01/17/2011; Updated: 01/16/2011; The American Journal of Gastroenterology © 2010



Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a known metabolic disorder of the liver. No treatment has been conclusively shown to improve NASH or prevent disease progression. The function of L-carnitine to modulate lipid profile, glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses has been shown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of L-carnitine’s supplementation on regression of NASH.


In patients with NASH and control subjects, we randomly dispensed one 1-g L-carnitine tablet after breakfast plus diet and one 1 g tablet after dinner plus diet for 24 weeks or diet alone at the same dosage and regimen. We evaluated liver enzymes, lipid profile, fasting plasma glucose, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-IR, body mass index, and histological scores.


At the end of the study, L-carnitine-treated patients showed significant improvements in the following parameters: aspartate aminotransferase (P=0.000), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P=0.000), γ-glutamyl-transpeptidase (γ-GT) (P=0.000), total cholesterol (P=0.000), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (P=0.000), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (P=0.000), triglycerides (P=0.000), glucose (P=0.000), HOMA-IR (P=0.000), CRP (P=0.000), TNF-α (P=0.000), and histological scores (P=0.000).


L-carnitine supplementation to diet is useful for reducing TNF-α and CRP, and for improving liver function, glucose plasma level, lipid profile, HOMA-IR, and histological manifestations of NASH.