Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. In living cells, it is required for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol into the mitochondria during the breakdown of lipids (fats) for the generation of metabolic energy.
It is widely available as a nutritional supplement. Carnitine was originally found as a growth factor for mealworms and labeled vitamin Bt. Carnitine exists in two stereoisomers: Its biologically active form is L-carnitine, whereas its enantiomer, D-carnitine, is biologically inactive.
ReferencesRef: ^ Steiber A, Kerner J, Hoppel C (2004). "Carnitine: a nutritional, biosynthetic, and functional perspective". Mol. Aspects Med. 25 (5.6): 455.73. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2004.06.006. PMID 15363636.
^ A. J. Liedtke, S. H. Nellis, L. F. Whitesell and C. Q. Mahar (1 November 1982). "Metabolic and mechanical effects using L- and D-carnitine in working swine hearts". Heart and Circulatory Physiology 243 (5): H691.H697. PMID 7137362.
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