Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 799–809 | Cite as

Ergogenic effect of dietary L-carnitine and fat supplementation against exercise induced physical fatigue in Wistar rats

  • M. D. Pandareesh
  • T. AnandEmail author
Original Paper


L-carnitine (LC) plays a central role in fatty acid metabolism and in skeletal muscle bioenergetics. LC supplementation is known to improve physical performance and has become widespread in recent years without any unequivocal support to this practice. A scientific-based knowledge is needed, to understand the implications of LC supplementation on physical fatigue. In current study, we have explored synergistic effects of dietary LC and fat content against physical fatigue in rats. Ninety male Wistar rats were supplemented with different concentrations of LC (0.15, 0.3, and 0.5 %) and fat content (5, 10, and 15 %) through diet in different combinations. Our results elucidated that LC (0.5 %) along with 10 and 15 % fat diet supplemented rats showed significant ergogenic effect. The swimming time until exhaustion was increased by ~2- and ~1.5-fold in rats fed with 10 and 15 % fat diet containing LC (0.5 %). LC supplementation improved the energy charge by increasing the levels of ATP, tissue glycogen, reduced GSH, plasma triglyceride, plasma glucose levels, and enzymatic antioxidant status, i.e., superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. LC supplementation also significantly reduced lipid peroxidation, lactic acid, plasma urea nitrogen, creatinine, creatinekinase, and lactate dehydrogenase levels in various tissues compared to its respective control group. Thus the present study indicates that LC ameliorates the various impairments associated with physical endurance in rats.


L-carnitine Fat diets Physical fatigue Weight-loaded forced swim test (WFST) Antioxidant enzymes Lipid peroxidation 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Farhath Khanum, Head, Biochemistry and Nanosciences Discipline and Dr. H.V. Batra, Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, for their constant support and encouragement during the period of the study.


  1. 1.
    Agustini TW, Suzuki T, Hagiwara T, Ishizaki S, Tanaka M, Takai R (2001) Change of K value and water state of yellow tuna Thunnus albacares meat stored in a wide temperature range (2°–84°C). Fish Sci 67:306–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anand T, Phani Kumar G, Pandareesh MD, Swamy MSL, Khanum F, Bawa AS (2012) Effect of bacoside extract from Bacopa monniera on physical fatigue induced by forced swimming. Phytother Res 26:587–593PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ando K, Nagata K, Yoshida R, Kikugawa K, Suzuki M (2000) Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on lipid peroxidation of rat organs. Lipids 35:401–407PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arduini A (1992) Carnitine and its acyl esters as secondary antioxidants? Am Hear J 123:1726–1727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Atkinson E, Tkinsond (1968) The energy charge of the adenylate pool as a regulatory parameter. Interaction with feedback modifiers. Biochemistry 7:4030–4034PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brass EP (1994) Overview of coenzyme A metabolism and its role in cellular toxicity. Chem-Biol Interact 90:203–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brass EP, Scarrow AM, Ruff LJ, Masterson KA, Lunteren EV (1993) Carnitine delays rat skeletal muscle fatigue in vitro. J Appl Physiol 75:1595–1600PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Buege JA, Aust SD (1978) Microsomal lipid peroxidation. Methods Enzymol 52:301–310Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cohen G, Dembiec C, Marens J (1970) Measurement of catalase activity in tissue extracts. Anal Biochem 34:30–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davis JM (1995) Central and peripheral factors in fatigue. J Sports Sci 13:549–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dutta A, Ray K, Singh VK, Praveen V, Singh SN, Singh SB (2008) L-carnitine supplementation attenuates intermittent hypoxia-induced oxidative stress and delays muscle fatigue in rats. Exp Physiol 93:1139–1146PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gonzalez JT, Stevenson EJ (2012) New perspectives on nutritional interventions to augment lipid utilisation during exercise. Br J Nutr 107:339–349PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Graziano F, Bisonni R, Catalano V, Silva R, Rovidati S, Mencarini E, Ferraro B, Canestrari F, Baldelli AM, De Gaetano A, Giordani P, Testa E, Lai V (2002) Potential role of levocarnitine supplementation for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced fatigue in non-anaemic cancer patients. Br J Cancer 86:1854–1857PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gulcin I (2006) Antioxidant and antiradical activities of L-carnitine. Life Sci 78:803–811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jin HS, Kenshiro F and Teruo M (2000) Polyunsaturated (n-3) Fatty Acids Susceptible to Peroxidation Are Increased in Plasma and Tissue Lipids of Rats Fed Docosahexaenoic Acid-Containing Oils. Journal of Nutrition. 3028-3033Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jing LJ, Cui GW, Feng Q, Xiao YS (2009) Orthogonal test design for optimization of the extraction of polysaccharides from Lycium barbarum and evaluation of its anti-athletic fatigue activity. J Med Plant Res 3:433–437Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jung K, Kim I, Han D (2004) Effect of medicinal plant extracts on forced swimming capacity in mice. J Ethnopharmcol 93:75–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lowry OH, Rosenberg NJ, Farr AL, Randal RJ (1951) Protein measurement with Folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193:265–275PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Manuel Y, Keenoy B, Moorkens G, Vertommen J, De Leeuw I (2001) Antioxidant status and lipoprotein peroxidation in chronic fatigue syndrome. Life Sci 68:2037–2049CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Miller GL (1972) Use of dinitrosalicylic acid reagent for determination of reducing sugars. Anal Chem 31:426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mohanraj P, Merola AJ, Wright VP, Clanton TL (1998) Antioxidants protect rat diaphragmatic muscle function under hypoxic conditions. J Appl Physiol 84:1960–1966PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Powers SK, DeRuisseau KC, Quindry J, Hamilton KL (2004) Dietary antioxidants and exercise. J Sports Sci 22:81–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Radak Z, Asano K, Inoue M, Kizaki T, Oh-ishi S, Suzuki K, Taniguchi N, Ohno H (1996) Superoxide dismutase derivative reduces oxidative damage in skeletal muscle of rats during exhaustive exercise. Eur J Appl Phys 79:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ryder JM (1985) Determination of adenosine triphosphate and its breakdown products in fish muscle by high performance liquid chromatography. J Agri Food Chem 33:678–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sawhney SK, Singh R (2005) In introductory practical biochemistry. Narosa, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schulte-Mattler WJ, Muller T, Deschauer M, Gellerich FN, Iaizzo PA, Zierz S (2003) Increased metabolic muscle fatigue is caused by some but not all mitochondrial mutations. Arch Neurol 1:50–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Siliprandi N, Di Lisa F, Pieralisi G, Ripari P, Maccari F, Menabo R, Giamberardino MA, Vecchiet L (1990) Metabolic changes induced by maximal exercise in human subjects following L-carnitine administration. Biochim Biophys Acta 1034:17–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Singh A, Garg V, Gupta S, Kulkarni SK (2002) Role of antioxidants in chronic fatigue syndrome in mice. Ind J Exp Biol 40:1240–1244Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vecchiet L, Di Lisa F, Pieralisi G, Ripari P, Menabo R, Giamberardino MA, Siliprandiet N (1990) Influence of L-carnitine administration on maximal physical exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 61:486–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Volek JS, Kraemer WJ, Rubin MR, Gomez AL, Ratamess NA, Gaynor P (2002) Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 282:E474PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wang JJ, Shieh MJ, Kuo SL, Lee CL, Pan TM (2006) Effect of red mold rice on anti-fatigue and exercise-related changes in lipid peroxidation in endurance exercise. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 70:247–253PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wall BT, Stephens FB, Constantin-Teodosiu C, Marimuthu K, Ian AM, Paul LG (2011) Chronic oral ingestion of L-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans. J Physiol 589:963–973PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wright VP, Klawitter PF, Iscru DF, Merola AJ, Clanton TL (2005) Superoxide scavengers augment contractile but not energetic responses to hypoxia in rat diaphragm. J Appl Physiol 98:1753–1760PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Yu JG, Carlsson L, Thornell LE (2004) Evidence for myofibril remodeling as opposed to myofibril damage in human muscle with DOMS: an ultrastructural and immunoelectron microscopic study. Histochem Cell Biol 121:219PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Yu B, Lu ZX, Bie XM, Lu FX, Huang XQ (2008) Scavenging and anti-fatigue activity of fermented defatted soybean peptides. Eur Food Res Technol 226:415–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© University of Navarra 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biochemistry and Nanosciences Discipline Defence Food Research LaboratoryMysoreIndia

Personalised recommendations