Carnosine (ß-alanyl-L-histidine) is a protein molecule made up of two amino acids, histidine and beta alanine. Classified as a dipeptide. Carnosine is substantial for many normal body functions including improvement of the muscles, liver, heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs. The muscles contain about 20 µmol/g dry weight. This chemical compound were discovered by Russian chemist V. Gulevich. L-carnosine is naturally occurring in all of our bodies; however, it depletes with age by approximately 10 % per year, after we reach the age of 30.
Carnosine Best Food Sources
Meat is the basic dietary source of carnosine. Other dietary sources of carnosine include, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, poultry and pork products. Absorption of carnosine from food is 30 to 70 % and that of pure L-carnosine greater than 70 percent.
In lab and animal experiments, researchers have found that carnosine may offer various a positive effects, such as inhibiting the buildup of amyloid beta, preventing diabetes-related nerve damage, and promoting vasodilation.
L-carnosine is an antioxidant which stabilizes and protects the cell membrane. Found in elevated concentrations in muscles and brain tissue, carnosine is backed by studies to support its capability to scavenge reactive oxygen species, which can lead to free radical damage. Carnosine has been shown to scavenge reactive oxygen species, as well as alpha-beta unsaturated aldehydes formed from peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids during oxidative stress.
L-carnosine functions as a broad-spectrum antioxidant and supports the wholesome functioning of enzyme systems. In addition, carnosine is capable of inhibiting cell membrane oxidation due to the action of copper, zinc, iron, hydrogen peroxide, the oxygen radical, and the free peroxide and hydroxylic radicals. As an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, carnosine supports DNA synthesis and stops its destruction, which can be the reason of cancer. In a study, mice were injected with solutions of carnosine at various doses for 5 consecutive days. On the fifth day mice were injected with the chemotherapy medication, cyclophosphamide. Bone marrow and blood cells were then analyzed. L-carnosine significantly decreased both damage to bone marrow and blood cells toxicity normally induced by chemotherapy drug. (Cell Biochemistry and Function).
L-carnosine is a chemical compound that protects and extends the functional life of the body’s key building blocks-cells, proteins, DNA, and lipids and can be quite called an agent of longevity. In a study conducted; found that adding carnosine to the diet of fruit flies produced a 20 percent increase in the average life span of male flies. (Rejuvenation Research 2010). A experiment on mice later demonstrated that mice given carnosine are twice as likely to reach their maximum lifespan as untreated mice. 44 percent of the carnosine treated mice had young, glossy coats in old age as opposed to just 5 percent in the untreated mice. Just 9 percent of the untreated mice behave youthfully in old age, versus 58 percent of the carnosine treated mice. The scientists additionally measured biochemical indicators associated with brain aging. Carnosine treated mice had important reduce levels of toxic malondialdehyde in their brain cell membranes. Monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) activity was 44 percent reduce in the carnosine treated mice, indicating maintenance of youthful dopamine metabolism.
A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromatid, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes. Telomere regions deter the degradation of genes near the ends of chromosomes by allowing chromosome ends to shorten, which necessarily occurs during chromosome replication. Over time, due to each cell division, the telomere ends become shorter. Telomere shortening is intimately involved in human ailment and mortality. Several studies have shown associations between shorter telomere length and various types of cardiovascular illness and diabetes. Shorter telomeres have also been associated with dementia, cognitive function, cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Due to the powerful antioxidant effect of L-carnosine, is shown to play a preventive role in preventing telomere damage while decreasing the rate of telomere shortening during cell division, slowing down the aging process. L-carnosine, has been reported to delay the replicative senescence, and extend the lifespan of cultured human diploid fibroblasts. Telomere shortening is induced by oxidative changes and other protein modifications of precisely the kind that carnosine can prevent. Carnosine can thus block telomere shortening and decrease aging effects in individual tissues. Scientists reported in the journal “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology” have found that telomere shortening accurately predicts the probability of developing heart illness, a heart attack and early death from all causes.
New researches suggests that the most substantial action of carnosine is its anti-glycation impact. Glycation is a process that involves the denaturation of proteins. It is acceptable to be a important factor in accelerating the whole ageing process, at a physical and cellular level. Glycation can be called as the binding of a protein molecule to a glucose molecule resulting in the formation of damaged, nonfunctioning structures. Glycation alters protein structure and reduces biological activity. Glycated proteins, which accumulate in affected tissue. Several age-related ailments such as cataract, arterial stiffening and neurological disorder are partially attributable to glycation. Because of its anti-glycation properties, carnosine may be beneficial in preventing and treating diabetic complications such as neuropathy, cataract, kidney failure and arteriosclerosis. As part of its anti-glycation function, L-carnosine reacts with aldehydes and ketones which accumulate on proteins during aging. Carnosine is an important antioxidant in defense against MDA (malondialdehyde). Malondialdehyde causes protein cross-linking and formation of advanced glycation end products. L-carnosine has been shown to avoid malondialdehyde from inducing protein cross-linking.
High Blood Sugar Levels
Carnosine reduces high blood sugar levels, develops insulin production and sensitivity, and promotes the loss of body fat. L-carnosine is considered to be a substance that, via the H3-receptors in the autonomous nerveous system, controls the levels of blood sugar. An animal-based study demonstrated that carnosine reduces blood glucose levels indirectly through positive effectiveness on the autonomic nervous system. A study reported in the July 1998 edition of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications found that carnosine may be beneficial due to its capability to inhibit the processes that lead to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts which are indicated as the reason of secondary diabetic complications.
Carnosine containing eyedrops have showed effectiveness in treating a different of ophthalmic problems, including corneal diseases, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma and cataracts, and impaired vision from any cause. Explained that researches out of Italy and Russia has shown that, l-carnosine, may be all that’s needed to dissolve cataracts, improve vision, and prevent redundant surgery. A new treatment for cataracts is NAC (N-acetylcarnosine). This therapy was improved by opthalmologist Dr. Babizhayev in Moscow. Many of the researches demonstrating the effectiveness of carnosine in preventing or treating cataracts in humans has been done by Dr. Babizhayev. Application of a 1 percent solution of N-acetylcarnosine to the eyes has dissolved cataracts. This works by preventing and reversing cross linking of the lens proteins that produces opacification and impaired vision. In 6 months, 90 percent of participants had developed vision. In 1994, scientists from the “Moscow Helmholtz Research Institute of Eye Diseases” linked the antioxidant effects of this compound to the possible for prevention or partially reversing cataract development. Researchers in China explained that carnosine-containing eyedrops used to treat 96 cataract patients over 60 years of age resulted in 100 % healing in primary senile cataract, and 80 %in those with mature senile cataract.
Some researches have identified the preventive effects of carnosine as being a powerful neutralising antioxidant in the presence of cardiovascular toxins thereby protecting against atherosclerosis and arterial plaque formation, a risk for or stroke or heart attack. According to new research, carnosine develops myocardial contractility during hypoxia as well as verapamil, a calcium channel blocker ofttimes prescribed for the therapy of heart illness and therefore carnosine opens new interests in therapy of myocardial insufficiency. Also, carnosine reduces platelet aggregation in people with abnormal clotting tendencies and enhances platelet aggregation in patients with low clotting indices.
Researchers reported in the Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry showed that carnosine from supplement can help protect against a first stroke, and can significantly reduce the harm caused by stroke. Animal-based studies show that supplement with carnosine protects the brain cells against ischaemia which occurs during and after stroke. L-carnosine has beforehand been shown to provide protection against ischemia in cultured cells and global ischemia in rats. In animal-based study, experimental ischemic injury resulted in 67 percent mortality of the rats. In the group of animals pre-treated with carnosine the mortality was just 30 percent.
L-carnosine works as a neurotransmitter, an anticonvulsant and a chelator. Antioxidant effect, which has been examined with in-vitro and in-vivo models, has been shown to protect against the damage caused to neurons by free radicals, particularly the hydroxyl type. In chronic brain problems, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, schizophrenia and, epilepsy, oxidation stress prevails and, also, all the other harmful interrelated reactions occur at a elevated rate. Various lab experiments, have reported high levels of metal ions such as copper, zinc in Alzheimer’s brain. Carnosine has the strong capability to chelate zinc, copper, and other metals, and to remove them from the body.
Autistic Spectrum Disorders
There is some findings that l-carnosine supplements may be useful for children with autistic spectrum disorders. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 31 children with autism were given or carnosine (400 mg twice daily dose) or placebo for a period of eight weeks. After 8 weeks, children on carnosine demonstrated statistically important developments on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale and the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary test, and developed trends on the other measures used. (Journal of Child Neurology November 2002). Although the mechanism of L-carnosine effect in autism is not well understood, a possible conjecture is that it modulates neurotransmission in frontal lobe function.
The recommended daily dose is 50-200 mg. In his book (Carnosine and Other Elixirs of Youth), Dr. Marios Kyriazis reported that Russian doctors use 1000 to 3000 mg per day to treat cancer patients.