Biology Chapter 1,2,3

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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

A lot of people have been getting into the weight-loss bandwagon. Nowadays there are numerous supplements and drinks that promise significant weight loss after a certain amount of time following regular consumption. One famous chemical currently advertised is L-carnitine. The substance is water soluble which oxidizes and transports long chain fatty acids into the mitochondrion (Dokmeci et al., 2005; Gulcin, 2006), transeterifies and acetyl-CoA, oxidizes branched chain alpha ketoacids and removes the potentially harmful acetylcarnitine esters from mitochondria (Dokmeci et al., 2005). Vescoro et al. (2002) found that L-carnitine can block cell death and skeletal muscle myopathy. It is present in plasma and tissue (Dokmeci et al., 2005) and can serve as an antioxidant by scavenging free radicals (Dokmeci et al., 2005), hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion radicals (Gulcin, 2006) and peroxidise lipids (Davanandan et al., 2001). The last one is particularly beneficial in that it can prevent atherosclerosis. Risks of cardiotoxicity and congestive heart failure can also be diminished by L-carnitine once it oxidizes fatty acids. This can help in supplying energy to the myocardium (Sayad-Ahmed at al., 1999). It can effectively transport fatty acids due to its derivatives’ high affinity towards the muscular carnitine transferases (Ferrarri et al., 2004). Absorption into the system is accomplished by active and passive diffusion (Rebouche, 2006). However, in tissues that rely on fatty acid oxidation,carrier-mediated transport ensures high tissue-to-plasma concentration ratio. One author, Rebouche (2006) suggested that L-carnitine dissemination can be either into the muscle or into the liver, kidney and other tissue. According to Rigault et al. (2007), L- carnitine is transferred to organs which metabolisms rely on fatty acid oxidation, particularly the heart and skeletal muscle. Oxidative stress weakens mitochondrial function. The said...
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