Carnitine and lipoic acid alleviates protein oxidation in heart mitochondria during aging process

Biogerontology. 2006 Apr;7(2):101-9. doi: 10.1007/s10522-006-6497-8.


Oxidative modification alters the function of proteins and is thought to play an important role in the decline of cellular function during aging process. In the present study, we have evaluated the levels of oxidant production, protein oxidation, reduced and oxidized glutathione in young, middle aged and aged rats. The animals were divided into six groups, each group consisting of six animals each. Groups I and II were young rats, Groups III and IV were middle-aged rats and Groups V and VI were aged rats. Groups II, IV and VI were treated with carnitine (300 mg/kg bw) and Dl-alpha-Lipoic acid (100 mg/kg bw) for 28 days. Statistical significance was carried out using ANOVA. There was a significant reduction in the levels of reduced glutathione and Redox ratio (P<0.05) in aged rats whereas elevation in the levels of oxidant production, protein carbonyls, advanced oxidation protein products and oxidized glutathione were observed. Co-supplementation of carnitine and lipoic acid improved these levels to near normalcy. Thus we conclude that the utilization of carnitine and lipoic acid will lead to an improvement in the quality of living during the later stages of life by preventing free radical induced damage to the proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Carnitine / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin B Complex / pharmacology*


  • Proteins
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Glutathione
  • Carnitine