L-Carnitine, Immunomodulation, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-related Disorders
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The use of pharmacologic doses of the conditionally-essential nutrient L-carnitine (LC) has been associated with positive effects on the immune system. We have recently suggested that this property of LC could be mediated through activation of the glucocorticoid receptor alpha. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, especially those on antiretroviral therapy, may become LC-deficient. This evidence, together with the immunomodulatory properties of LC, its known major role in lipid and energy metabolisms, and its proposed antiapoptotic and neuroprotective actions, have encouraged the use of LC supplementation as a potential treatment for HIV-related disorders, such as lipodystrophy and peripheral neuropathy. Preliminary results, mostly from small-scale uncontrolled studies are conflicting, whilst larger controlled trials are warranted.
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