Call for Papers  

Article Details

Research Article

Acetyl-L-carnitine Slows the Progression from Prefrailty to Frailty in Older Subjects: A Randomized Interventional Clinical Trial

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 38 ]


Giulia Malaguarnera, Vito Emanuele Catania*, Gaetano Bertino, Laura Maria Chisari, Maria Castorina, Claudia Bonfiglio, Omar Cauli and Michele Malaguarnera   Pages 3158 - 3166 ( 9 )


Background: Ageing is characterized by a gradual decline in body function, representing the clinical situation called "frailty". Prefrailty is the intermediate stage between frailty and robust condition. L-carnitine (LC) plays an important role in energy production from long-chain fatty acids in mitochondria, and its serum level is lower in prefrail and frail subjects.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effect of Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) in pre-frail older patients.

Methods: We scheduled 3 months of treatment and then 3 months of follow-up. A total of 92 subjects were selected from May, 2009 to July, 2017, in a randomized, observational, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. We scheduled 3 months of treatment and then 3 months of follow-up. ALCAR (oral 1.5 g/bis in die - BID) or placebo groups were used.

Results: After the treatment, only the treated group displayed a decrease in C reactive protein (CRP) p < 0.001 and an increase in serum-free carnitine and acetylcarnitine (p < 0.05) in Mini-Mental state (MMSE) p < 0.0001 and 6-walking distance (p < 0.0001); ALCAR group vs. placebo group showed a decrease in HDL cholesterol and CRP (p < 0.01), an increase in MMSE score (p < 0.001) and in the 6-walking distance (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: ALCAR treatment delays the incidence and severity of onset of degenerative disorders of the elderly in prefrail subjects with improvement in memory and cognitive processes.


Carnitine, cognitive impairment, motor impairment, elderly, aging, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, frailty, prefrailty.


Read Full-Text article