Carnitine - a biomolecule for fat metabolism


Abstract:
People with carnitine deficiency are posed to a major problem in fatty acid oxidation. In instances, where metabolic or nutritional deficiencies are a contributing factor for certain diseases, dietary supplementation of those deficiencies may provide benefits. However, carnitine deficiencies are rare even in strict vegetarians because carnitine is produced within the body relatively easily. Rare genetic diseases can cause carnitine deficiency. In addition, deficiencies are occasionally associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and cirrhosis. Carnitine deficiency is more likely to be found in persons experiencing complications of diabetes (such as retinopathy, hyperlipidemia or neuropathy), suggesting that carnitine deficiency may play a role for the development of these complications. Carnitine deficiency can also result from oxygen deprivation, which can occur under some heart conditions. Carnitine has attracted the scientific interest as a result of its several health-related effects. It has been proved to be useful in connection to several conditions, such as an attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, infertility (male), chronic fatigue syndrome, β thalassemia, high cholesterol, liver cirrhosis, heart attack, intermittent claudication, mitral valve prolapse, high triglycerides, sprains and strains, etc. Carnitine's role in fat metabolism, energy production, the sources from where one can include enough carnitine in the diet, etc. are dealt elaborately in this article.

Keywords:
Carnitine; Mitochondria; Long chain fatty acids; β-oxidation; Red meat; Dairy products

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How to cite this article:
Selvakumar K, Ani Babiyans Roy P, Lakshmi B, Madhan R. Carnitine - a biomolecule for fat metabolism. Journal of Biological and Information Sciences. 2012. 1 (1). 1-3.
Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/jbis/read/BOJ001A0001.