Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Carntine has been a naturally occurring compound since the beginning of the century, and was considered to be an essential nutrient for quite some time. Carnitine has many essential roles in the body. Carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy, controls ketogenesis, and modulates the acyl-CoA/free CoA ratio. Studies have postulated that exercise decreases carnitine in the body, therefore leading to a deficiency in athletes. Carnitine has also been used as a weight loss product because of its fatty acid oxidation function. Many nutritional supplement companies have marketed on these functions of carnitine, resulting in a big business. Pyruvate is another substance that has be postulated to help individuals lose weight. Pyruvate is needed for conversion of glycerol to acetyl CoA, which produces ATP for energy. Studies from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have found that pyruvate does reduce weight regain in individuals after weight loss. There are also numerous companies that market pyruvate for weight loss.



Faculty Mentor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt