DiNicolantonio, James J.; Niazi, Asfandyar K.; McCarty, Mark F.; Lavie, Carl J.; Liberopoulos, Evangelos; O'Keefe, James H.
Although the therapeutic strategies available for treating acute myocardial infarction (AM I) have evolved dramatically in recent decades, coronary artery disease remains the leading cause of death in our society, and the rates of recurrent myocardial infarction and mortality are still unacceptably high. Therefore, exploration of alternative therapeutic strategies for AMI is of utmost importance. One such strategy is to target metabolic pathways via L-carnitine supplementation. L-carnitine is a physiologically essential metabolic cofactor that has been shown to provide a plethora of benefits when administered after AMI. L-carnitine has been shown to lessen infarct size, to reduce ventricular arrhythmias, left ventricular dilation, and heart failure incidence, as well as improve survival. These benefits may, in part, be related to its ability to boost glucose oxidation in ischemic tissues, while moderating increases in fatty acyl-coenzyme A levels that can impair mitochondrial efficiency and promote oxidative stress and inflammation. This article summarizes the evidence pertinent to the therapeutic use of L-carnitine for AMI.