Risk assessment of "other substances" – L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine-L-tartrate. Opinion of the Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids, Materials in Contact with Food and Cosmetics of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety
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The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has, at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA), assessed the risk of 1500 mg/day of L-carnitine and 2250 mg/day of L-carnitine-L-tartrate in food supplements. L-carnitine occurs naturally in foods and is endogenously synthesised. L-carnitine-L-tartrate is synthesised commercially, and it dissociates into L-carnitine and tartaric acid in the gastrointestinal tract. Based on the included literature there was no evidence indicating that age affects sensitivity towards L-carnitine, L-carnitine-L-tartrate or tartaric acid. Therefore, in this risk characterisation the same tolerance level as for adults was assumed for children and adolescents (adjusted for body weight). VKM concludes that a dose of 1500 mg of L-carnitine per day, which is equivalent to a dose of 2250 mg of L-carnitine-L-tartrate per day, is unlikely to cause adverse health effects in adolescents (14 to <18 years), whereas intake at this level in children (10 to < 14 years) may represent a risk of adverse health effects. The tartaric acid exposure from this dose of L-carnitine-L-tartrate is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.