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1 . 2021

Influence of the L-carnitine and resveratrol complex on physiological, biochemical and morphological indicators of normal and obese rats


Specialized products and dietary supplements, enriched with complexes of minor biologically active substances (BAS), are often offered as components of therapeutic diets in the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome. At the same time, the possible effects of the interactions of BAS when consuming a multicomponent product have not been studied enough.

The aim - to study the action on rats’ organism of a complex supplement (КС), containing resveratrol (Res) and L-carnitine (L-Car), when consumed with a standard balanced or hypercaloric diet.

Material and methods. Male Wistar rats received for 63 days a standard balanced diet (SD) or a high-fat-high-carbohydrate diet (HFCD) with an excess of total fat (30%) and fructose (20% solution instead of drinking water), or the same diets supplemented with КС in a low (25 mg/kg body weight as Res and 300 mg/kg body weight as L-Car) or high (50 and 600 mg/kg body weight, respectively) doses. The muscle grip strength, behavioral reactions in tests of the conditioned passive avoidance reflex (CPAR) and elevated plus maze (EPM) were studied. At the end of the experiment, the mass of adipose tissue and internal organs was determined together with the activity of microsomal and cytosolic liver enzymes for specific substrates, plasma biochemical parameters, liver morphology by light-optical microscopy, accumulation of lipofuscin-like granules (LLG) in the liver and kidneys by laser confocal microscopy.

Results. In the rats fed HFCD, compared with SD, there was an increase in the mass index of liver, total inguinal and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue, in the levels of glucose and triglycerides, in the activity of hepatic CYP1A1 and CYP3A monooxygenases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, heme oxygenase, and simultaneous decrease of high and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and quinone oxidoreductase activity. The КС intake stimulated the locomotor activity of rats in EPM, however, this effect was less pronounced against the background of HFCD consumption. In rats consuming SD (but not HFCD), the addition of КС caused an increase in search activity and anxiety according to the EPM and CPAR data. The effect on short- and long-term memory retention was statistically insignificant. RС intake did not have hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties but caused in low dose an increase in the ratio of the activity of transaminases AST/ALT in animals fed HFCD. The liver CYP3A activity increased in rats supplemented with RС in high dose fed HFCD. In the kidneys of animals, the consumption of RС resulted in increased accumulation of LLG.

Conclusion. When studying the effect of the complex supplement RС on normal and obese rats according to the studied physiological, morphological and biochemical indexes, no positive effects were revealed, that would not have manifested themselves for Res and L-Car separate intake. No evidence of synergistic action of L-Car and Res were found, and some of the effects of the complex supplement can be considered as adverse. This requires careful assessment when combined using these substances in complex diet therapy of metabolic disorders in humans.

Keywords:obesity, high-calorie diet, rats, resveratrol, carnitine, joint administration, dietary supplements, specialized foods

Funding. This research was funded by Russian Science Foundation (grant № 17-16-01043).

Conflict of interests. The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Acknowledgements. The determination of blood biochemical parameters was performed by Jorge Selada Soto.

For citation: Shipelin V.A., Shumakova A.A., Semin M.O., Trusov N.V., Balakina A S., Timonin A.N., Gmoshinski I.V., Nikityuk D.B. Influence of the L-carnitine and resveratrol complex on physiological, biochemical and morphological indicators of normal and obese rats. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2021; 90 (1): 15-32. DOI: (in Russian)


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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)
Medicine today

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