Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide made up of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is also a naturally occurring antioxidant and potent glycation-inhibiting nutrient. Carnosine is found both in food as well as the human body. Long-lived cells such as nerve cells (neurons) and muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine. But carnosine levels decline with age, making supplementation an essential part of your whole-body health program.
Benefits at a Glance
Protects against glycation
Carnosine is a unique dipeptide that can interfere with the glycation process,1-7 an underlying mechanism of aging that causes damage to the body’s proteins. Glycation involves the non-enzyme controlled cross-linking of proteins or lipids and sugars to form non-functioning structures in the body.
The process of glycation can be superficially seen as wrinkled skin. Carnosine has shown the ability to inhibit formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).8-11
Protects muscle cell membranes
Muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the maximum life spans of animals. While muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine, those levels decline with age. Muscle levels decline 63% from age 10 to age 70, which may account for the normal age-related decline in muscle mass and function.12
Since carnosine acts as a pH buffer, it can keep protecting muscle cell membranes from oxidation, even under the acidic conditions of muscular exertion, or exercise. Additionally, carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes.13 These benefits make Carnosine an essential part of your comprehensive nutritional regimen.