Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Metabolism. 1991 Dec;40(12):1305-10.

Quantitative estimation of absorption and degradation of a carnitine supplement by human adults.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


Results of kinetic and pharmacokinetic studies have suggested that dietary carnitine supplements are not totally absorbed, and are in part degraded in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. To determine the metabolic fate of dietary carnitine supplements in humans, we administered orally a tracer dose of [methyl-3H]L-carnitine with a meal to five normal adult males, who had been adapted to a high-carnitine diet plus carnitine supplement (2 g/d) for 14 days. Appearance of [methyl-3H]L-carnitine and metabolites in serum, and urinary and fecal excretion of radiolabeled carnitine and metabolites was monitored for 5 to 11 days following administration of the test dose. Maximum concentration of [methyl-3H]L-carnitine in serum occurred at 2.0 to 4.5 hours after administration of the tracer, indicating relatively slow absorption from the intestinal lumen. Total radioactive metabolites excreted in urine and feces ranged from 47% to 55% of the ingested tracer. Major metabolites found were [3H]trimethylamine N-oxide (8% to 49% of the administered dose; excreted primarily in urine) and [3H]gamma-butyrobetaine (0.44% to 45% of the administered dose; excreted primarily in feces). Urinary excretion of total carnitine was 16% to 23% of intake. Fecal excretion of total carnitine was negligible (less than 2% of total carnitine excretion).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center