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Carnitine: function, metabolism and value in hepatic failure during chronic alcohol intoxication

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Author(s): Alina Kępka | Sławomir Dariusz Szajda | Napoleon Waszkiewicz | Paweł Płudowski | Sylwia Chojnowska | Michał Rudy | Agata Szulc | Jerzy Robert Ładny | Krzysztof Zwierz

Journal: Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej
ISSN 0032-5449

Volume: 65;
Issue: 846636;
Start page: 645;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: karnityna | alkohol | stłuszczenie wątroby | marskość wątroby | przewlekłe zatrucie alkoholem | carnitine | alcohol | hepatic steatosis

ABSTRACT
Alcoholism is one of the most frequent dependences among people, leading to damage of the liver and death of the person. Chronic alcohol consumption decreases fatty acid oxidation by interfering with carnitine metabolism and citric acid cycle activity. Block in activity of the citric acid cycle caused by alcohol and its metabolites is partially compensated by increased ketone body production, which results in ketosis. Chronic administration of alcohol induces liver injury, inflammation, cirrhosis, focal necrosis and steatosis.L-carnitine (L-3-hydroxy-4-N, N, N-trimethylaminebutyric acid) is an essential factor in fatty acid metabolism, which plays a major role in transport of activated long-chain fatty acids to sites of β-oxidation in mitochondria. Carnitine also stabilizes cell membranes by removing long-chain acyl-CoA and excess of the acyl group from the body. L-carnitine can be a useful and safe drug in the liver pathology induced by chronic ethanol exposure.
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