L carnitine benefit for fertility and sperm health

Combined treatment with L-carnitine, a popular dietary supplement, and acetyl-carnitine, a related chemical, appears to improve sperm motility in men with fertility problems, according to a new study. In the study, 60 infertile men between the ages of 20 and 40 years were randomly selected to take a combination of L-carnitine and L-acetyl-carnitine or an inactive "placebo" for 6 months. In the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers at the University of Rome led by Dr. Andrea Lenzi report that 2 months after the completion of therapy, men who took L-carnitine and acetyl carnitine had increases in sperm concentration, forward movement, and total movement. The most significant improvements in sperm motility, both forward and total, were observed in men who had the lowest levels of moving sperm when the study began. The researchers note that four spontaneous pregnancies were achieved during the study by men who had taken the combination therapy.
Placebo-controlled double-blind randomized trial on the use of L-carnitine, L-acetyl carnitine, or combined L-carnitine and L-acetyl carnitine in men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia.

Fertility & Sterility 2005 Sep;84(3):662-71. Andrology unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy.
We evaluated the effectiveness of L-carnitine or acetyl carnitine or combined carnitine and acetyl carnitine treatment in improving semen kinetic parameters. Sixty infertile men, ages 20 to 40 years, with the following baseline sperm selection criteria: concentration > 20 x 10(6)/mL, sperm forward motility <> 30%. Patients underwent a double-blind therapy of carnitine 3 grams a day, acetyl carntine 3 grams a day, a combination of carnitine 2 g/d and acetyl carnitine 1 g/d, or placebo for a period of six months. Sperm cell motility increased in patients to whom acetyl carnitine was administered both alone or in combination with carnitine; combined carnitine + acetyl l carnitine therapy led to a significant improvement of straight progressive velocity. The administration of carnitine and acetyl carnitine is effective in increasing sperm kinetic features in patients affected by idiopathic asthenozoospemia and improves the total antioxidant status of the seminal fluid.

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