Carnitine as a possible adjunct in parenteral feeding.
Rawcliffe PM., Giles P., Bartlett S., Jewell DP., Ross BD.
Carnitine is necessary for the transport of fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane, and depletion in response to Intralipid infusion has previously been demonstrated. This study investigates whether orally administered L-carnitine increases tolerance to a lipid load given intravenously. Eight patients with active inflammatory bowel disease, being treated with intravenous prednisolone, were studied. Intralipid was infused on two occasions. Triglycerides and ketone bodies rose in a reproducible manner. Carnitine did not influence these changes. Carnitine excretion rose after an oral dose indicating that carnitine was absorbed, but carnitine excretion was increased in the steroid-treated individuals and rose after oral prednisolone in two healthy subjects. It is concluded that under the conditions of this study oral carnitine is without demonstrable effect on the handling of an intravenous lipid load.