L-Carnitine for Asthma
Julian Whitaker, MD
Asthma rates have been rising steadily for decades, and today a staggering 26 million Americans rely on inhalers and prescription drugs to manage their wheezing and breathlessness. Although the cause of the asthma epidemic is still a mystery, some answers—and better treatments—might be just around the corner.
Children with moderate asthma are known to have reduced carnitine levels, so researchers wanted to find out if supplementing with L-carnitine would improve symptoms. They divided 50 asthmatic children into two groups; one group was given L-carnitine supplements while the other was given a placebo. After six months of treatment, the children taking L-carnitine scored significantly higher on repeat pulmonary function tests and reported considerably fewer symptoms than those in the placebo group. Although this study focused on children, there is no reason why adults with asthma shouldn’t give this therapy a try.
- The suggested adult dose is 500–2,000 mg two or three times a day (total of 1,500–6,000 mg). Children should be tested for carnitine deficiency before taking L-carnitine supplements; work with a doctor to determine the proper pediatric dosage.
- Look for carnitine supplements in health food stores or order by calling (800) 810-6655.
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