There are some evidences regarding beneficial effects of carnitine in improvement of depression symptoms. Incidence of depression is significantly higher among HIV positive individuals compared to HIV negative populations. Also carnitine deficiency is prevalent in HIV positive individuals.
In a cross-sectional study correlation between serum carnitine level and depression severity based on the Beck Depression Inventory questionnaire was assessed in 100 HIV/AIDS (42 males and 58 females) patients. According to the Beck Depression Inventory definitions, 31%, 16%, and 21% of the patients experienced mild, moderate, and severe depression, respectively.
The mean ± SD serum concentration of total carnitine in the patients was 37.96 ± 26.08 (µmol/L). Fifty-four (54%) patients were categorized as carnitine deficient. A non-statistically significant negative correlation between patients’ depression scores and total levels of serum carnitine was found. Considering the prevalence of depression among HIV/AIDS patients and probable role of carnitine in the pathogenesis of depressive disorders, more studies are needed to reveal correlation between depression and the body storage of carnitine.