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An update on potential applications of L-carnitine in poultry

  • Z. REHMAN (a1), S. NAZ (a2), R.U. KHAN (a1) and M. TAHIR (a1)


L-carnitine (B-hydroxy-Y-N-trimethyl aminobutyrate) is a water-soluble product, found in animals, plants and microorganisms. Its synthesis takes place from two important amino acids, lysine and methionine. Essentially, L-carnitine has an intermediary role in metabolism. It promotes energy metabolism for cell and regulates co-enzyme A concentration in cystosol and mitochondria, which are important in glucose and lipid metabolism. L-carnitine was first isolated from the chicken embryo in a significant amount, but is absent in the egg. Under normal physiological conditions, the endogenously synthesised levels are sufficient for normal growth and functions. Its requirements are increased in stressful conditions and during metabolic and physiological higher demands, such as growth and laying periods. L-carnitine increases energy production, fat metabolism and improves immune status in birds, which is energy demanding. In this review, several aspects of the beneficial effects of dietary supplementation of L-carnitine on poultry health and production are briefly summarised.


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World's Poultry Science Journal
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