Bioethics News

New Autism Research: A Nutrient Called Carnitine Might Counteract Gene Mutations Linked with ASD Risks

April 14, 2016

(The Conversation) – TMLHE mutations make it difficult for neural stem cells to produce energy, or to maintain a correctly oxidized environment, which is why they often don’t divide properly. Cells produce energy by processing fat molecules. For this to happen, fat molecules need to get to the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, to be broken down. A nutrient called carnitine helps transport fat to these parts of the cell. This is where TMLHE comes in. While we can get carnitine from food – milk and meat, for instance – our bodies can also produce it. But the TMLHE gene is required for carnitine synthesis, so a mutation in this gene can lead to carnitine deficiency.

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