What you will learn...
L-carnosine benefits for health include combatting the effects of aging, promoting exercise performance, and treating certain complications associated with diabetes, kidney dysfunction, and eye disorders.
L-carnosine (AKA carnosine) is a naturally occurring combination of two amino acids. It was discovered in Russia in the early 1900s.
Carnosine is a small dipeptide molecule that occurs naturally in the bodies of a wide variety of animals, plays important roles in energy metabolism, anti-oxidation, gene expression, protein integrity, and phosphorylation, among others.
But scientific research, up to this day, hasn’t come up with an explanation about what, exactly is its biological function.
Uses of Carnosine
Carnosine has many identified biological activities, which include:
- Delay in the onset of senescence in cultured cells.
- Rejuvenation of senescent cells
- Inhibition of the growth of cultured cancer cells
- regulation of Intracellular signaling
- Regulation of gene expression.
- Metallic ion chelation, and
- Promoting a decrease in glycolytic energy systems in cells of the body.
Evidence also suggests that the ingestion of carnosine as a supplement can have beneficial effects, such as:
- Antioxidant activity
- Anti-aging functions
- Neuroprotection, and
- Muscle mass gain, muscle strength gain, muscle endurance gain, and exercise recovery.
L-Carnosine Health Benefits
L-Carnosine plays a number of important roles in the body. It acts as an acid buffer in muscle cells against muscle exertion.
When we exercise at a high rate of intensity there is an increase in hydrogen ion concentration in our muscle tissue.
Anaerobic metabolism results in the production of lactic acid in the muscles, which changes the pH balance of muscle cells and leads to the burning sensation that athletes feel when training or working out.
L-Carnosine has been found to promote improved muscle endurance, one of the many reasons why L-carnosine is widely used among athletes, and bodybuilders.
However, for improving exercise performance, many supplements with Beta-alanine, which is a precursor to carnosine, is used instead, to improve stamina and overcome muscle fatigue.
L-carnosine is also being researched for its positive effects on diabetes mellitus, heart disease, autism, obesity, chronic inflammation, and more.
Protein Glycation: Sugar and Aging
Glycation is what happens when excess sugars and/or alcohols caramelize the proteins in your body. It is the uncontrolled reaction of sugars with proteins.
In effect, glycation is a major factor in the aging process and it is particularly devastating to diabetics.
Our body is mostly made up of proteins, and proteins are the substances most responsible for the daily functioning of our body.
Thus, anything that causes protein deterioration has such a dramatic impact on the body's function and appearance.
As a result of the destructive effect of sugar and compounds formed by the oxidation of alcohol, the protein in our bodies tends to undergo destructive changes as we age.
This destruction is a prime factor, not only in the aging process itself, but also in the familiar signs of aging such as wrinkling skin, cataracts, and the destruction of our nervous system, especially our brains.
Fortunately, studies show that carnosine is effective against all these forms of protein destruction and modification.
L-Carnosine Benefits for Athletic performance
Research has shown that sprinters tend to have higher levels of carnosine in their muscles when compared to marathon runners and sedentary individuals.
They also tend to have increased endurance on anaerobic speed tests.
As a result, many athletes take supplements to increase their carnosine levels to boost stamina and avoid muscle fatigue during intense workouts.
Additional health benefits from carnosine are attributed to its antioxidant properties and its ability to suppress the formation of advanced glycol-cyclization end products (AGEs) and protein cross-linking.
Carnosine Protects Against Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage
In yet another confirmation of carnosine's ability to protect against damages from excess levels of sugar and alcohol in the bloodstream, a study has shown that supplementation with carnosine is effective for both preventing and repairing biochemical alterations and morphologic damage in the liver caused by exposure to alcohol.
In other words, regular supplementation with carnosine might be worth considering if you are prone to regular consumption of alcohol.
L-Carnosine Benefits for Cancer
Studies are attempting to understand the ways in which carnosine’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other properties may provide innovative approaches for cancer prevention and treatment.
Research has shown that in cultured human cells, L-carnosine has blocked DNA damage which can transform normal, healthy cells into cancerous cells, and have inhibited the secretion of certain inflammatory cytokines in the intestines.
L-carnosine seems to disrupt the energy cycles of cancer cells and discourage new metastasis, which is helpful at reducing risks for colorectal cancers.
L-carnosine supplementation is not associated with any serious or lasting side effects, but caution is advised if using carnosine with medications or herbal supplements with hypoglycemic potentials.
Always good to discuss the safety and benefits of taking L-carnosine with a doctor who knows about your health history and medications.