Lonza's L-Carnitine Enhances Vitamin Absorption

Fair Lawn, November 22, 2002 - A method for increasing intestinal absorption of fat soluble vitamins in post-menopausal women was patented today by Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Topeka, Kansas) Kansas State Research Foundation (Manhattan, Kansas) and Lonza Ltd. (Basel, Switzerland). This method applies also to companion animals.

The method comprises orally administering a fat soluble vitamin and L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine enhances the antioxidant defense mechanism and lowers the risk of certain degenerative diseases, such as coronary heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, osteoporosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s, in post-menopausal women.

US Patent #6,476,010 explains:

· L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in the energy supply of tissues by modulating the entry of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix and their subsequent oxidation.

· Consistent with such a metabolic role, L-Carnitine has been shown to be effective in lowering the serum levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, and free fatty acids, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol prevents the depositing of fats and fatlike substances in the arteries.

· Existing evidence indicates that L-Carnitine and its esters enhance the stability and integrity of erythrocyte membranes by participating in the reacylation (repair) of membrane phospholipids subjected to oxidative damage.

· Postmenopausal women make up over 15% of the total population in industrialized countries. By 2030, the proportion of postmenopausal women is predicted to increase to 23% of the total population.

· In addition, numerous epidemiological studies have shown that depletion of estrogen at the menopause influences cause-specific morbidity and mortality in later life.

· From the nutritional standpoint, menopause is the time when the body’s ability to absorb, assimilate and metabolize nutrients begins to deteriorate. Consequently, the body status of nutrients is compromised at and after menopause, with the manifestations of specific nutrient deficiency symptoms with time.

· It is well documented that postmenopausal women are substantially more susceptible to coronary heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, osteoporosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Although this is partly associated with the process of aging and deterioration of bodily functions and the immune systems, epidemiological evidence suggests that a significant association exists between the risks (or incidence) of certain chronic diseases and the inadequacies or deficiencies of specific nutrients in postmenopausal women.

· Current evidence strongly suggests that the compromised body status of lipid-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D and E, is a key factor influencing or contributing to the onset or development of the diseases.

Lonza Group is a Life Sciences driven chemical company headquartered in Switzerland, with sales of CHF 2.5 billion in 2001 and operating 21 production and R&D facilities in 9 countries. It employs 6 400 people worldwide and is the leading supplier of active chemical ingredients, intermediates and biotechnology solutions to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. It also offers a broad catalogue of organic intermediates for a wide range of applications such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, vitamins, food and feedstuff, dyes and pigments, adhesives and fragrances. Furthermore the Group manufactures specialty biocides and oleochemicals and develops and produces specific polymer intermediates, unsaturated polyester-resins, compounds and composites. For more information please visit the company’s websites at www.lonzagroup.com, www.carnitine.com.

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