Effects of Carnitine Orotate on Peripheral Blood Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number and Liver Function in Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Authors and Disclosures

Chae Young Lim, M.D.*, Dae Won Jun, M.D.*‡, Sung Su Jang, M.S.§, Won Kyeung Cho, M.S.*‡, Jung Don Chae, M.D.†, and Jin Hyun Jun, Ph.D.‡ Department of Internal Medicine*, and Laboratory Medicine†, School of Medicine, Eulji University, Eulji Institute for Life Sciences‡, Pharmaceutical Department College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University,’ Seoul, Korea



Functional and anatomical abnormalities of mitochondria play an important role in developing steatohepatitis. Carnitine is essential for enhanced mitochondrial beta oxidation through the transfer of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria. We examined the impact of carnitine orotate (GODEX) on liver function and peripheral blood mitochondria copy number in NAFLD patients.


Forty-five NAFLD patients were enrolled. Patients were categorized into the carnitine orotate (GODEX) administered group and control group. Before and 3 months after drug administration, a liver function test and peripheral blood mitochondrial DNA and 8-oxo-dG quantitive analysis were conducted.


In carnitine treatment group, ALT, AST, and total bilirubin were reduced after medication. There was no difference in AST, ALT, and total bilirubin between before and after treatment in control group. In carnitine orotate group, peripheral mitochondrial DNA copy number was significantly increased from 158.8±69.5 copy to 241.6±180.6 copy (p=0.025). While in control group the mitochondrial copy number was slightly reduced from 205.5±142.3 to 150.0±109.7. 8-oxo-dG level was also tended to decrease in carnitine group (p=0.23) and tended to increase in control group (p=0.07).


In NAFLD, the carnitine orotate (GODEX) improved liver profile and peripheral blood mitochondrial DNA copy number. This results suggest that carnitine orotate activate the mitochondria, thereby contributing to the improvement of NAFLD.

(Korean J Gastroenterol 2010;55:384-389)


Nonalcholic fatty liver disease; Mitochondria; Carnitine