What other names is Propionyl-l-carnitine known by?
Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine HCl, Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, L-carnitine Propionyl, LPC, PLC, Propionil-L-Carnitina, Propionylcarnitine.
What is Propionyl-l-carnitine?
Propionyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine are also amino acids, and they are chemically related to propionyl-L-carnitine. In fact, the body can convert L-carnitine to propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine. But, no one knows whether the benefits of carnitines are interchangeable. Until more is known, don't substitute one form of carnitine for another.
Propionyl-L-carnitine is used for treating leg pain
(intermittent claudication) due to poor blood circulation (peripheral vascular disease
, PVD). PVD is often caused by diabetes
or "hardening of the arteries
). Propionyl-L-carnitine is also used to treat congestive heart failure
Men with sexual performance problems (erectile dysfunction
) due to diabetes
or poor circulation sometimes use propionyl-L-carnitine along with prescription medications
. Older men who have symptoms of low testosterone
levels sometimes use propionyl-L-carnitine in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine.
The propionyl-L-carnitine/acetyl-L-carnitine combination is also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome
Healthcare providers give propionyl-L-carnitine intravenously (by IV) for treating PVD and intermittent claudication; to improve wound
healing in people with PVD; and to treat heart disease
, including congestive heart failure
, and chest pain
Possibly Effective for...
- Poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease) that causes leg pain while walking (intermittent claudication). Propionyl-L-carnitine taken by mouth or given by IV seems to help people with severe leg pain walk farther than they otherwise could. But propionyl-L-carnitine doesn't seem to help milder peripheral vascular disease.
- Congestive heart failure (CHF). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine seems to improve heart function and exercise tolerance in people with mild to moderate congestive heart failure.
- Treating symptoms of "male menopause," low levels of testosterone due to aging. Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine for six months seems to improve sexual performance, depression, and fatigue in older men. Taking this combination seems to work about as well as taking testosterone.
- Sexual performance problems (erectile dysfunction, ED) in men with diabetes. Taking propionyl-L-carnitine along with sildenafil (Viagra) may work better than taking sildenafil alone.
- An increase in fibrous tissue in the penis (Peyronie's disease). The combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and injection of a medication called verapamil seems to improve sexual performance, slow disease progression, and reduce the need for surgery.
- Chest pain (angina).
- A type of heart disease called chronic ischemic heart disease, when given by IV.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Developing research suggests that propionyl-L-carnitine might improve general fatigue in patients with CFS. Interestingly, the combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine appears to be less effective than either supplement alone.
- Circulatory problems caused by diabetes.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of propionyl-L-carnitine for these uses.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).