l-Carnitine is an essential cofactor of lipid metabolism found in living tissues, particularly the heart and skeletal muscles, where it is involved in cellular energy production. Its action is to assist the transportation of long chain fatty acids across the membrane of the cell mitochondria to enable their breakdown by enzyme pathways into energy (ATP), carbon dioxide and water.
l-Carnitine is also believed to have other important roles, such as preventing the toxic accumulation of acetyl CoA compounds. These compounds are trapped as carnitine esters and transported from the muscle to the liver for processing, and to the kidney for excretion. This function is not unlike a physiological buffer and so carnitine may play a protective role in preventing metabolic acidosis.
l-Carnitine is available to animals through their diet or by endogenous (within the body) biosynthesis from dietary precursors. However, as herbage and cereals have relatively low levels of carnitine, endogenous production is important.
Deficiency of l-carnitine can therefore arise when the diet is lacking in carnitine, or precursors (lysine, methionine, vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin and iron). Signs of l-carnitine deficiency in the body are associated with a failure to utilise fatty acids for energy production and include skeletal muscle dysfunction and weakness, heart enlargement, heart failure and rhythm disturbances, and hepatic dysfunction.
d-Phenylalanine and l-isoleucine supplement the body's requirements in situations where pain causes increased endorphin demand.
l-Carnitine requirements are known to rise during periods of increased tissue demand. Supplementation is recommended in the following situations : performance feeding; neonates (foals and yearlings have been found to have greater requirements for l-carnitine); diets known to be low in l-carnitine and its precursors; cardiac and skeletal muscle disease; hepatic and renal disease; debilitation, inappetence, convalescence; gastrointestinal disturbances and parasitism; derangements in fat metabolism.
d-Phenylalanine is not normally found in mammals. It can be used as a pain reliever and has been found to be useful for chronic pain. Phenylalanine inhibits the breakdown of opiate like endorphins in the brain, resulting in increased brain endorphin levels.
l-Isoleucine is an essential amino acid involved in the production of many body proteins, including endorphins.
Dosage and Administration
Administer intramuscularly twice weekly, preferably within four to six hours of expected strenuous exercise, or as directed by a veterinary surgeon.
Adult horses : 15 to 25 mL
Racing dogs : 2 to 5 mL
Pack size: 100ml