L-Carnitine Contents in Seafoods Commonly Eaten in Middle Eastern Countries



Beta-hydroxy-gamma-trimethyl amino butyric acid (L-carnitine) content of raw and cooked seafood was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography method. Thirty-one different fish species and nine different crustaceans were used to compare L-carnitine content of raw and cooked seafood. Significant differences in L-carnitine content were found in some species, regardless of the raw or cooked seafood (P < 0.05). There were also significant differences between some of the raw and cooked species (P < 0.05). The levels of L-carnitine in raw fish samples ranged from 17.98 mg/kg for big-scale sand smelt to 73.07 mg/kg for European conger (Conger conger). Squid (Loligo vulgaris) and green tiger prawn (Penaeus semisulcatus) were found as the best sources of L-carnitine among the tested seafood. Microwave cooking also significantly reduced the L-carnitine content of some seafoods (P < 0.05). The study showed that seafoods are an important origin of L-carnitine for covering the daily requirements of humans.

Pratical Application

Beta-hydroxy-gamma-trimethyl amino butyric acid (L-carnitine) has been used as a drug in various diseases such as dislipoproteinemia, anorexia and dyspepsia. Recently, L-carnitine and its derivatives have also been shown to protect cardiac metabolism and function in ischemic heart disease, and other clinical conditions of myocardial ischemia. In this study, L-carnitine level was determined in different fish and crustacean species to assess the presence of L-carnitine in the muscle of seafood. When humans suffer from L-carnitine deficiency, the knowledge of L-carnitine concentrations in seafood is helpful for diet specialists in order to prepare a specific diet.