Study finds that a combination of L-carnitine and vitamin E can overcome immunosuppression
12/27/2018 // RJ Jhonson // Views

L-carnitine and vitamin E can improve the immune system, according to a study. It was found that the combination of these two nutrients can overcome the immunosuppressive effects of ochratoxin A, a fungus-based toxin, proving that taking the two together can be more beneficial than taking them separately.

The study exposed White Leghorn cockerel chicks to ochratoxin A. Some of the birds were given feed contaminated with the toxin along and either L-carnitine or vitamin E. Others received the toxin with a combination of the two nutrients and others received the toxin with none of the nutrients at all.

Ochratoxin A suppressed the birds’ immune response, but this effect was reduced in the animals that received either L-carnitine or vitamin E, or the combination of the two. However, this protective effect was not observed in the animals that received a much higher dose of the toxin.

Further analysis showed a reduction in the lesions caused by ochratoxin A in the birds given L-carnitine or vitamin E, or a combination of the two. These findings led the researchers to conclude that taking L-carnitine and vitamin E as food supplements can help overcome immunosuppression caused by ochratoxin A.

The study was published in the journal Toxicon.

The health benefits of L-carnitine

L-carnitine is a nutrient that often comes in the form of dietary supplements. It helps in the production of energy by transporting fat molecules to the mitochondria, the part of the cells that produce energy. These fat molecules are eventually converted into energy the body can use as fuel. Because of this important function, L-carnitine is most popular as a fat-burning supplement.


It has several health benefits, including:

  • Heart health – L-carnitine supplements are linked to lower incidences of coronary heart disease and heart failure, as well as deaths from these diseases. The nutrient is also known for its ability to reduce blood pressure and inflammation that causes heart conditions.
  • Diabetes control – In people with Type 2 diabetes, L-carnitine has been linked to reductions in blood sugar levels and other symptoms. It also increases the levels of AMPK, an enzyme that helps the body use carbohydrates effectively.
  • Better performance – Although the effects may take months to manifest, L-carnitine supplements are known to improve exercise performance, especially in areas like stamina, recovery, oxygen supply, and red blood cell production, among others.
  • Better brain function – Some studies have indicated that L-carnitine can help reverse the effects of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. It also improves the mental performance of people with alcohol addiction.

L-carnitine is naturally produced in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine, although it may also be obtained from foods like meat or fish. The body needs vitamin C to effectively produce L-carnitine.

The health benefits of vitamin E

Vitamin E is most famous for its skin benefits, but it can do so much more:

  • It protects from UV damage – Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is linked to increased risks of developing skin conditions, among the worst of it is skin cancer. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E protects the sun from the effects of UV rays, lowering one’s risk of skin cancer in the process.
  • It protects the heart – As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps neutralize oxidative damage that damages the cells, including those in the heart. Vitamin E is associated with lower blood pressure and a generally healthier heart.
  • It promotes wound healing – Vitamin E oil is associated with faster recovery from wounds, as are vitamin E supplements.

Vitamin E is found in abundant quantities in nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, and seeds, including sunflower seeds. One may also obtain the nutrient from supplements.

Learn which nutrients you need for a healthy immune system at

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