Carnitine is made in the liver from two amino acids. It is found in nearly all cells of the body. Carnitine has two major relatives, acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine, which also have beneficial clinical activity.
Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, the furnaces of the cell, so they can be oxidized ("burned") to produce energy. It also prevents or reduces the toxicity of many different types of toxic substances. Carnitine is highly concentrated in high energy requiring tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that primarily utilize fatty acids as fuel.
The body makes sufficient carnitine to meet the needs of most people. There are, however, a number of diseases and other conditions where there is carnitine deficiency and treatment is needed.
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin), which kills cancer cells, is among the most widely used chemotherapy FDA approved drugs. Doxorubicin is administered intravenously to fight several different cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, thyroid cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, and endometrial cancer. In addition it may be used against Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), sarcomas of the soft tissue, sarcomas of the bone (osteosarcomas), neuroblastoma, Wilms' tumor, small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
For more information on Doxorubicin, see the Wikipedia definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxorubicin
The main problem with Doxorubicin is that it is toxic to the heart which limits its dose and use. This is where Carnitine comes in...
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