Serum Carnitine Levels in Centenarians


Objective and Study Participants: We evaluated serum carnitine concentrations in a group of 17 centenarians (six males, 11 females: mean age 102.35 ±2.21 years), and compared them with a control group that comprised 20 elderly volunteers (age range: 66 to 75 years).

Results: The mean serum carnitine level in the centenarian group was 8.99 ±5.1 mg/L compared with 7.71 ±0.92 mg/L in the control group (p = NS). Serum carnitine levels were not significantly correlated with lipid pattern, kidney function, daily activity, body mass index and daily diet in the centenarians. Analysis of the lipid pattern revealed that the mean serum total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apoprotein B100 and triglyceride concentrations were higher in the controls than in the centenarians (p = 0.01 for total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apoprotein B100; p = 0.05 for triglycerides). High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apoprotein A levels were significantly lower in the controls than in the centenarians (p = 0.01). We postulated that an endogenous synthesis is responsible for the increased serum carnitine levels observed in the centenarians.

Conclusion: In our study series, the association between a good lipid profile and elevated serum carnitine levels, although nonsignificant, might be considered an important factor in achieving longevity.

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Correspondence to Mariano Malaguarnera.

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Malaguarnera, M., Pistone, G., Receputo, G. et al. Serum Carnitine Levels in Centenarians. Clin. Drug Investig. 17, 321–327 (1999).

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