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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1993;63(1):22-6.

Absorption and excretion of L-carnitine during single or multiple dosings in humans.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, Newark.


Changes of short-chain (free) and long-chain (acyl) carnitine activity (CA) in plasma, whole blood, red blood cells (rbc) and urine were induced (a) by ingestion of L-carnitine as a single dose of 500 mg, or 2500 mg, or (b) by ingestion of a daily dose of 2500 mg for 10 days. A single 500-mg dose induced insignificant increases of CA in blood constituents. However elevated free CA was noted in urine. Single or daily high doses--e.g. 2500 mg of carnitine--significantly increased free and acyl-CA in plasma, whole blood and urine, but these increases were low. Variations in dosage or frequency of carnitine intake led to no changes in rbc CA; presumably CA in plasma diffused only slowly into rbc. The apparent low absorption of carnitine suggests that oral therapy may not effect rapid repletion of body stores of CA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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