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Arch Dis Child. 1984 February; 59(2): 177–179.
PMCID: PMC1628441

Systemic carnitine deficiency exacerbated by a strict vegetarian diet.


A 12-year old boy suffered episodes of vomiting, lethargy, and hypoglycaemia from the age of 1 year. Adhering to a vegetarian diet caused an increase in frequency and severity of the attacks. It was found that he was suffering from systemic carnitine deficiency that responded promptly to treatment with L-carnitine.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Engel AG, Angelini C. Carnitine deficiency of human skeletal muscle with associated lipid storage myopathy: a new syndrome. Science. 1973 Mar 2;179(4076):899–902. [PubMed]
  • McGarry JD, Foster DW. Systemic carnitine deficiency. N Engl J Med. 1980 Dec 11;303(24):1413–1415. [PubMed]
  • Slonim AE, Borum PR, Tanaka K, Stanley CA, Kasselberg AG, Greene HL, Burr IM. Dietary-dependent carnitine deficiency as a cause of nonketotic hypoglycemia in an infant. J Pediatr. 1981 Oct;99(4):551–555. [PubMed]
  • Parker D, Root AW, Schimmel S, Andriola M, DiMauro S. Encephalopathy and fatal myopathy in two siblings. Their association with partial deficiency of muscle carnitine. Am J Dis Child. 1982 Jul;136(7):598–601. [PubMed]
  • Boudin G, Mikol J, Guillard A, Engel AG. Fatal systemic carnitine deficiency with lipid storage in skeletal muscle, heart, liver and kidney. J Neurol Sci. 1976 Dec;30(2-3):313–325. [PubMed]
  • McGarry JD, Foster DW. Regulation of hepatic fatty acid oxidation and ketone body production. Annu Rev Biochem. 1980;49:395–420. [PubMed]

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