Failure of carnitine in improving hepatic nitrogen content in alcoholic and non-alcoholic malnourished rats






AIMS: To investigate the effect of carnitine supplementation on alcoholic malnourished rats' hepatic nitrogen content. METHODS: Malnourished rats, on 50% protein-calorie restriction with free access to water (malnutrition group) and malnourished rats under the same conditions with free access to a 20% alcohol/water solution (alcohol group) were studied. After the undernourishment period (4 weeks with or without alcohol), both groups were randomly divided into two subgroups, one of them nutritionally recovered for 28 days with free access to a normal diet and water (recovery groups) and the other re-fed with free access to diet and water plus carnitine (0.1 g/g body weight/day by gavage) (carnitine groups). No alcohol intake was allowed during the recovery period. RESULTS: The results showed: i) no difference between the alcohol/no alcohol groups, with or without carnitine, regarding body weight gain, diet consumption, urinary nitrogen excretion, plasma free fatty acids, lysine, methionine, and glycine. ii) Liver nitrogen content was highest in the carnitine recovery non-alcoholic group (from 1.7 to 3.3 g/100 g, P<0.05) and lowest in alcoholic animals (about 1.5 g/100g). iii) Hepatic fat content (~10 g/100 g, P>.05) was highest in the alcoholic animals. CONCLUSION: Carnitine supplementation did not induce better nutritional recovery.

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