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Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 May;48(5):503-10.

Effect of carnitine supplementation on mitochondrial enzymes in liver and skeletal muscle of rat after dietary lipid manipulation and physical activity.

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Biochemistry and Nutrition Discipline, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysore 570 011, India.


Effect of carnitine supplementation in enhancing fat utilization was investigated by looking into its effects on mitochondrial respiratory enzymes activity in liver and muscle as well as on membrane fatty acid profile in rats fed with hydrogenated fat (HF) and MUFA-rich peanut oil (PO) with or without exercise. Male Wistar rats were fed HF-diet (4 groups, 8 rats in each group) or PO-diet (4 groups, 8 rats in each group), with or without carnitine for 24 weeks. One group for each diet acted as sedentary control while the other groups were allowed swimming for 1 hr a day, 6 days/week, for 24 weeks. The PO diet as well as exercise increased the activities of mitochondrial enzymes, NADH dehydrogenase, NADH oxidase, cytochrome C reductase, cytochrome oxidase, while carnitine supplementation further augmented the oxidative capacity of both liver and muscle significantly by enhancing the activity of carnitine palmitoyl transferase and the respiratory chain enzymes. These effects can be attributed to the enhanced unsaturated fatty acids in phospholipids of mitochondria and may be due to increased fluidity of the membrane in these rats. Results of this study show a significant health promoting effects of carnitine supplementation which could be further augmented by regular exercise.

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