Carnosine is a naturally occurring
dipeptide (b-alanyl-L-histidine). In simple terms, it is made up of two
amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. It is naturally present in
the brain, nerves, muscle tissue and in the lens of the eye.
Researchers from the University of London
have been studying the effects of carnosine as a supplement for several
years and have arrived at consistent results. There have been previous
studies by Japanese and Russian researchers, but interest started
growing recently after British and Australian researchers published
results about carnosine's near miraculous anti-aging properties.
Carnosine lengthens the life span of
human cells in the laboratory. It has antioxidant properties and zaps
toxic ions and other poisons. It shields tissues against radiation
damage, excites the immune system and speeds up wound healing. The use
of carnosine stabilizes and strengthens the membrane of our cells, which
is beneficial. In laboratory animals has been shown to prevent or
Carnosine blocks several chemical
pathways leading to cross-linking and so reduces the production of AGEs
(advanced glycation end-products), saving our body from, what else,
Som carnosine can protect us against
free radical damage and against AGEs (advanced glycation end-products).
But there are other toxins which can cause age-related damage, One of
these is aldehyde and its by-products. Experiments have shown that
carnosine protects the tissues from the effects of these rogue products.
Why is carnosine different from other
anti-aging 'miracle cures'? Because it takes part in three different
battles to neutralize toxins:
1) Free radicals
2) AGEs (advanced glycation
3. Aldehyde products
Vitaminc C, vitamin E and other
commonly used antioxidants barely manage to fight free radicals. Damage
caused by AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) and by aldehyde remains
Even if we concentrate only on the
battle against free radicals, carnosine is still superior to ordinary
antioxidants. To understand why, it is necessary to appreciate that we
have several lines of defence against free radicals. Commonly used
antioxidants, fighting alongside carnosine, are effective only as a
first line of defence. Once this line overrun, antioxidants have no
The second line of defense is to
neutralize the several dangerous by-products of the first reaction. That
is where carnosine comes in again for the second time, because it is
able to blast these by-products away.
Aging has been associated with many
different causes and stages of damage. Because carnosine has many
different actions, it works at the very heart of age-related reactions,
from the inside. It is fair to say that all of these actions have been
extensively studied in the laboratory only, and not fully in humans as
yet. Initial results are very encouraging though. People who have used
carnosine say that their muscles feel firmer and their face looks
younger. In theory, carnosine is potentially useful in the treatment of
Alzheimer's dementia, cancer and inflammation, as well as cataract,
arteriosclerosis and kidney disease due to diabetes.
In animals, the amount of carnosine in
the muscle tissues indicates how long the animal will live. The higher
the concentration, the longer the life span. Will the same be proven
true for humans?
High amounts of carnosine are found in
lean read meat and chicken. Carnosins supplements exist in capsule form.
These supplements are made by bringing together the two amino acids in
special laboratories to create exactly the same natural product as the
one found in muscle. The product is not taken from the muscles or brains
of dead cows or anything similar.
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