L carnitine for liver health
L-carnitine inhibits hepatocarcinogenesis via protection of mitochondria.
Int J Cancer. 2004 Oct 21
Hepatocellular carcinoma is usually preceded by chronic inflammation. Recently, we reported that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis via the production of free radicals. Furthermore, we proved that L-carnitine effectively protects mitochondrial function in vivo. Therefore, we investigated whether long-term administration of L carnitine could prevent hepatitis and subsequent hepatocellular carcinoma in Long-Evans Cinnamon rats that are often analyzed as a model of hepatocarcinogenesis. The results indicated that oxidative stress elicited from abnormally accumulated copper increased the amount of free fatty acids, thereby inducing mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in cell death and enhanced secondary generation of reactive oxygen species, which were significantly inhibited by carnitine treatment. Mitochondrial injury plays an essential role in the development of hepatocarcinogenesis and the clinical use of carnitine may have therapeutic potential in individuals with chronic hepatitis.