DENVER, COLORADO. A team of American and Russian researchers reports that supplementation with propionyl-L-carnitine can markedly improve the symptoms of intermittent claudication (leg cramps when walking). Their study involved 155 patients with disabling claudication (72 from the USA and 83 for Russia). The patients were randomized to receive two 500 mg propionyl-L-carnitine pills twice a day or identical placebo pills. They were given a treadmill test at the beginning of the experiment and after six months of supplementation. The test measured the time to the onset of unbearable pain and the maximal distance walked before pain forced a cessation of the exercise. After six months the patients in the carnitine group had improved their peak walking time by 54 per cent as compared to the placebo group's average improvement of 25 per cent. The carnitine group also reported a significant reduction in bodily pain and in general, a transition to a better state of health.
The researchers conclude that, "propionyl-L-carnitine is effective in improving
treadmill exercise performance and functional status in patients with peripheral
arterial disease and claudication". NOTE: This study was supported by a grant
from Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc.