The small double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study of 24 overweight Japanese men (Body Mass Index of 25.8-26.6 kg/m2) found, “significant body weight loss and a decrement of serum triglyceride level vs the non-motivated placebo group”.
“The beneficial effects of L-carnitine were amplified by motivation training,” the Japanese researchers said.
They noted the small sample and short 4-week duration of the trial, but said the results were nonetheless significant.
“This may be a crucial limitation that weakens the significance of the results, although ... Low dosage L-carnitine combined with motivation may have a beneficial effect on several metabolic syndrome risk parameters, including TG and adiponectin, which could offer a safe, low cost, and easily applicable strategy targeting weight loss in overweight humans."
The 24 overweight adult men were split into 4 groups: Group A received 500mg L-carnitine; group B received the same with motivation training; group C received placebo and group D placebo plus motivation training.
“Motivation training included a face-to-face 30 minute session with the principal investigator at the baseline visit, where the subjects were informed about L-carnitine and its metabolic functions,” the researchers wrote.
“Furthermore, subjects learned about the beneficial effect of weight loss on the risk of metabolic diseases. Subjects were encouraged to perform daily physical activities like ‘taking stairs’ instead of ‘using escalators’.”
“Furthermore, it was recommended to reduce calorie intake to 1500-1800 kcal by taking light meals.”
Only group B showed a statistically significant weight reduction of 1.1kg compared to an increase of 0.7kg in the placebo non-motivated group.
Published Online February 2013
‘A Pilot Clinical Trial on L-Carnitine Supplementation in Combination with Motivation Training: Effects on Weight Management in Healthy Volunteers’
Authors: Satoshi Odo, Koji Tanabe, Masamitsu Yamauchi