Aspartame is excessively used as synthetic sweeteners in various foods (chewing gum, soft drinks, etc.) and hygiene products1. It is consumed by diabetic patients and people who want to lose weight. It is metabolized after as phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol2.
L-carnitine is a vital fatty acid; it is transferred from cytosol to mitochondria3. It can taken from food or by combining 2 amino acids i.e. methionine and lysine. Both of them are essential amino acids and important for as skeletal muscles, heart, brain, kidney and liver4.
Kidney is most crucial organ in human body as it maintains body free from toxins and healthy. It secreted the waste matter in the form of urea, creatinine and uric acid. If these contaminants increase onside the kidney it will lead to kidney impairment2.
High glycemic content can be harmful for body and kidney. Scientists decided to perform an experiment to evaluate the potential harmful effects of L-carnitine elicited by Aspartame in a rat model. The oxidative and the histological changes of kidney tissues were assessment. The genotoxicity data was determined using comet assay to evaluate the possible DNA injury induced by Aspartame5.
In order to perform the experiment researchers took 48 rats. Divided them into 6 groups; control group, ASP-LD (low dose) group, ASP-HD (high dose) group, LC (L-carnitine) group, ASP-LD+LC group, ASP-HD+LC group. All groups were given respective treatments continuously for 30 days.
After completion of experiment it was found that the ASP group decreased the renal levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), activities of antioxidant enzyme markers and increased lipid per-oxidation levels. DNA damage was significantly increased in ASP-LD and ASP-HD groups as compared to control animals. The LC prevented the ASP-induced kidney damage as specified by ameliorating all the above-mentioned parameters. Histo-pathological changes were parallel with the biochemical alternation in ASP groups.
The ASP caused renal damage and effect on their functions as proved by significant biochemical and histological changes as well as DNA strand breaks. LC supplied protection from these changes and declined the injury afforded by ASP. The treatment of kidney with LC and ASP showed an improvement in renal corpuscles.
Therefore, it is possible that LC could scavenge free radicals and produce beneficial effects against ASP damage of kidney. Moreover, the ASP intake should be restricted and administrated with LC when it is used in food or beverages.
Written by: Rabeeia
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26 May, 2019