Protective effect of L-carnitine on alcoholic fatty liver in rats

Bahçecioğlu H., Demir A., Ustundag B., Ilhan M., Baydas G., Canatan H. , ...More

MEDICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH, vol.27, no.7, pp.475-478, 1999 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Page Numbers: pp.475-478


We have investigated the protective effects of L-carnitine against experimental alcoholic fatty liver in terms of steatosis, liver damage, lipid peroxidation and lipid levels. 36 male Wistar rats were divided into three groups. One group received a liquid diet and the other two the liquid diet supplemented with ethanol for 6 weeks. One of the groups given alcohol also received L-carnitine (250 mg/kg, i.m., 3 times/week) and the other isotonic saline (i.m., 3 times/week) as placebo. All of the rats given alcohol developed fatty liver, presenting different grades at the end of the 6 weeks. The levels of steatosis, inflammation and necrosis in the livers of alcohol + L-carnitine animals were significantly lower (P < 0.001) compared to the alcohol + saline animals' livers. The levels of tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) in the liver and plasma were significantly lower in the L-carnitine + alcohol group (P < 0.001) than in the saline + alcohol group. Moreover, the activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and levels of triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol were significantly lower in the L-carnitine + alcohol group (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively) compared to the alcohol + saline group. Based on these results, it is possible to postulate that L-carnitine may have a preventive role against alcohol-induced steatosis and liver damage. Med Sci Res 27:475-478 (C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.