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Effects ofl-carnitine loading on the aerobic and anaerobic performance of endurance athletes

  • C. Marconi
  • G. Sassi
  • A. Carpinelli
  • P. Cerretelli
Article

Summary

l-Carnitine (l-c), a well known physiological carrier across the inner mitochondrial membrane of activated long chain fatty acids and acceptor of acyl groups from acyl-CoA, has been recently synthesised industrially. This has made it possible to study the effects ofl-c loading (4 g·d−1 by mouth over a period of 2 weeks) on the aerobic and anaerobic performance of 6 long distance competitive walkers. As a result of the treatment: 1) mean total, free and esterified seruml-c both at rest and shortly after completing a 120 min walk at about 65% of the individual maximal aerobic power\((\dot V_{O_{2\max } } )\) were significantly increased; 2)\(V_{O_{2\max } } \) increased 6%, from 54.5±3.7 (S.D.) to 57.8±47 mlO2·kg−1·min−1 (P<0.02); 3) blood lactate concentration (La b ) as a consequence of short bouts of repeated exercise (series of 10, 15 and 20 jumps off both feet on a force platform) was unchanged; 4) heart rate, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen consumption, and respiratory quotient in the same conditions as for 1) were unchanged. It is concluded that, in trained athletes, as a consequence ofl-c loading\(\dot V_{O_{2\max } } \) is slightly but significantly raised, probably as a result of an activation of substrate flow through the TCA cycle, whereas the lipid contribution to metabolism in prolonged submaximal exercise remains unchanged.

Key words

l-Carnitine loading \(\dot V_{O_{2\max } } \) Respiratory quotient Serum total and free carnitine 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Marconi
    • 1
  • G. Sassi
    • 1
  • A. Carpinelli
    • 1
  • P. Cerretelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical TechnologiesUniversity of Milano and the Centro Studi di Fisiologia del Lavoro Muscolare del C.N.R.MilanoItaly

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