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J Nutr. 1995 Jul;125(7):1938-44.

Choline supplementation alters carnitine homeostasis in humans and guinea pigs.

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Department of Nutrition, Nutrition Institute, College of Human Ecology and Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-1900, USA.


We have previously shown that supplementary choline causes significant decreases in urinary excretion of carnitine in humans. The objectives of the present work were to study this interaction in a different human population and on other body pools of carnitine in an animal model. In young adult women, daily choline supplementation (20 mg/kg body wt) resulted in a 75% lower urinary carnitine excretion than in controls, without significantly altering plasma carnitine concentrations. Supplementary choline was added to the ground diet of Sprague-Dawley rats (2.5 g/kg diet) and guinea pigs (3 g/kg diet). Choline supplementation had no effect on plasma concentrations or urinary excretion of carnitine in the rats. In guinea pigs, however, choline supplementation resulted in a significantly lower urinary excretion and higher plasma total carnitine concentrations. The skeletal muscle carnitine concentration was higher in the choline-supplemented guinea pigs, but not significantly higher in other tissues. These studies demonstrated that choline supplementation results in decreased urinary excretion of carnitine in young adult women, that guinea pigs are a suitable animal model for studying the effect of choline supplementation on carnitine status in humans, and that choline results in a conservation of carnitine in guinea pigs and perhaps in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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