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birchtree 09-08-2007 06:35 PM

Carnitine and T3 - anyone?
My naturopathic doc called me last night to tell me that he called in a script for transdermal T3, and that I should pick up some carnitine to take with the T3. It seems that carnitine can control hyper symptoms, such as heart palps, by blocking some of the absorbance of T4/T3 into the nucleus of cells.

I experience heart palps and chest pain on even small doses of T3. Unfortunately, my labs consistently show that I do not convert T4 well and would benefit from the addition of T3. We're hoping that having the T3 enter my system SLOWLY (via my skin/fat cells) and the carnitine will stop this side effect.

Does anyone take carnitine for thyroid issues? I did some research and found a medical paper which does agree with the doctor - it says that carnitine can reduce hyper symptoms. I asked my doctor if the carnitine would cancel the beneficial effects as well and he said no, that wasn't the experience of his colleagues and their patients.

I'm really being careful about taking it - I'm doing all the research I can - any one have any insight into carnitine?


birchtree 09-10-2007 04:29 AM

Re: Carnitine and T3 - anyone?
bump - thanks!

mkgb 09-10-2007 11:56 AM

Re: Carnitine and T3 - anyone?
Did some digging because I was completely in the Heck if I know state on this one. Here are some facts I dug up.

Study 1: Carnitine metabolism in thyroid hormone treated rats and mice. The rats and mice were given T3 +T4 diet supplementation. These rats were monitored and tested. The results indicated that carnitine synthesis is depressed by thyroid hormone, however, some possibilities that thyroid hormone may increase carnitine synthesis were also discussed. Over all results were inconclusive as to a carnitine synthesis increase.

Study 2: Supports the carnitine interferes with the binding of TH uptake. Data was consistent with carnitine being a peripheral antagonist of TH action, by site blockage and interference.

Study 3: This determines carnitine may be a viable means to treat nad help hypers. In particular, l-carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell nuclei. This is relevant because thyroid hormone action is mainly mediated by specific nuclear receptors. The TH receptors evaluated in study 2. In the randomized trial, the researchers showed that 2 and 4 grams per day of oral l-carnitine were capable of reversing hyperthyroid symptoms (and biochemical changes in the hyperthyroid direction) as well as preventing (or minimizing) the appearance of hyperthyroid symptoms (or biochemical changes in the hyperthyroid direction).

Study 4: This study evaluates the effect of carnitine on the liver and its function. In the liver carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-I) catalyzes the transfer of long chain fatty acyl groups from CoA to carnitine for translocation across the mitochondrial inner membrane. The CPT-Ialpha is a key regulatory enzyme in the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver, and thus important. CPT-Ialpha is expressed in all tissues except skeletal muscle and adipose tissue which express CPT-Ibeta . Expression of CPT-Ialpha mRNA and enzyme activity are elevated in the liver in hyperthyroidism, fasting and diabetes. Carnitine reduces the expression of CPT-Ialpha mRNA.

From what I can dig up it seems to reliably work in the bulk of the studies. Non of the studies I dug up indicated any negative T3 or T4 absorption issues. I would go slow and see how little you can take and get relief for your symptoms.


hyperkim 09-10-2007 12:43 PM

Re: Carnitine and T3 - anyone?

I take Carnitine for my hyperT symptoms. And have done so for nearly two years.

The only warnings I have found on it are
~ it may reduce the effects of Thyroid hormone repalcement therapy (since it blocks its absorption)
~ it is not recommended if you have seizure disorders (I think this is due to the Carnitine aiding in the conversion of fatty acids into energy in the mitochondria of the cells....essentially helping strengthen your muscles...which makes sense it would effect seizure disorders)

I think taking the T3 with the Carnitine would be close to doing a modified "Block & Replace" program.

Acytel L-Carnitine is the most effective form. (I get mine from an online place for in the $30 range.) And I found somewhere that taking 3000mg -4000mg/day can give the same effects as an ATD. I did jump my intake up to 3000mg/day for a short time. My levels did a nose-dive and I had to drop back. So I can testify to the fact Carnitine does work for hyperT.

Hopefully, that has helped you somewhat.
Take care,

birchtree 09-10-2007 01:13 PM

Re: Carnitine and T3 - anyone?
thanks much, mkg and hyper kim - excellent and informative info! The more research I do, the less nervous I am. However, I'm noting that this treatment is going to be expensive...Carnitine isn't cheap (although you found it at a good price, hyperkim) and neither is transdermal T3!!!

hyperkim - sorry, I should probably know this - what do you mean by ATD...anti-depressant?

again thanks SO much to both of you

hyperkim 09-10-2007 01:41 PM

Re: Carnitine and T3 - anyone?
No problem....

ATD is an abbreviation for Anti-Thyroid Drugs. (Tapazole and MMI)

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