Plasma carnitine in alcoholism

Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
R K Fuller, C L Hoppel


Carnitine is essential for the beta-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids in the mitochondria and probably has a major role in modulating the acyl-coenzyme A/reduced coenzyme A ratio in the matrix of mitochondria. Plasma carnitine concentrations are elevated in several conditions and reflect changes at the cellular level. We previously had reported elevated plasma carnitine in patients with alcoholic liver disease compared to healthy control subjects. In this study we measured plasma carnitine in a third group, alcoholic patients without overt liver disease. The alcoholic patients (n = 20) had significantly elevated plasma long-chain acylcarnitine (P less than 0.01) compared to 32 healthy men of identical age and significantly lower short-chain (P less than 0.01) and long-chain acylcarnitine (P less than 0.01) than 28 men with alcoholic liver disease. We conclude that alcoholism is another condition in which carnitine homeostasis is altered.


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Alcohol Abuse
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