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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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L-Carnitine & Body Fat
Feb 4, 2005

I've been positive for 16 years and have been on all the cocktails. About six weeks ago I awoke and found the trunk of my body could rival a giant Sequoia. My pant size went from 34" to #38".I had no waist and had to wear suspenders since my belt couldn't find anywhere to be. My neurologist wrote a prescription for a drug I believe was Conitor. It was too expensive and we settled on a food supplement, L-Carnitine 1500mg. per day. It's been a month and I'm back in size 34" pants and have an actual waist. Do you know of any studies supporting the supplement or did my "fairy" godfather take pity on me? Is this just a coincidence? Thank you for the support.

Response from Dr. Henry

Carnitine and/or acetyl carnitine have been of interest as anti-oxidants and/or mitochondrial health promoter for some time. Several studies have shown some benefit for peripheral neuropathy. I have had some patients that have either developed or had persistent fat distribution problems while using those products but also many others who have taken the products with minimal evolution of fat problems. It is hard for me to tell whether patients are benefiting and there may be a wide variation from patient to patient. I have not seen a good study showing benefit of L-carnitine for fat distribution in the setting of HIV treatment. Your experience is interesting. KH

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