Purpose: Hemodialyzed patients demonstrate elevated oxidative stress and reduced functional status. Exercise induces health benefits, but acute exertion up-regulates oxidative stress responses in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the effect of l-carnitine supplementation on i) exercise performance and ii) blood redox status both at rest and after exercise.
Methods: Twelve hemodialysis patients received either l-carnitine (20 mg·kg−1 i.v.) or placebo in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, and crossover design for 8 wk. Participants performed an exercise test to exhaustion before and after supplementation. During the test, V˙O2, respiratory quotient, heart rate, and time to exhaustion were monitored. Blood samples, collected before and after exercise, were analyzed for lactate, malondialdehyde, protein carbonyls, reduced and oxidized glutathione, antioxidant capacity, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activity.
Results: Blood carnitine increased by l-carnitine supplementation proportionately at rest and after exercise. l-carnitine supplementation increased time to fatigue (22%) and decreased postexercise lactate (37%), submaximal heart rate, and respiratory quotient but did not affect V˙O2peak. l-carnitine supplementation increased reduced/oxidized glutathione (2.7-fold at rest, 4-fold postexercise) and glutathione peroxidase activity (4.5% at rest, 10% postexercise) and decreased malondialdehyde (19% at rest and postexercise) and protein carbonyl (27% at rest, 40% postexercise) concentration.
Conclusions: Data suggest that a 2-month l-carnitine supplementation may be effective in attenuating oxidative stress responses, enhancing antioxidant status, and improving performance of patients with end-stage renal disease.
1Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, GREECE; 2Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, GREECE; 3Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, GREECE; 4Centre for Research and Technology-Thessaly (CERETETH), Institute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Trikala, GREECE; and 5Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Athens, GREECE
Address for correspondence: Vassilios Vargemezis, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis 68100, Greece; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted for publication June 2009.
Accepted for publication February 2010.