L-Carnosine Supplements for Anti-Aging, Preventing Glycation and AGEs, first appeared in the mainstream health community around a decade ago in the form of supplements, eye drops, and skin creams.
Carnosine is a combination of the amino acids, beta-alanine, and histidine, and is present in the brain, kidney and skeletal muscle of fish, birds, and mammals.
Carnosine is known to be capable of preventing cellular damage from free radicals, such as hydroxyl radicals, superoxide, and reactive nitrogen species.
Carnosine is useful in humans because of its ability to affect so many different tissue types.
In studies involving human beings, various states of diseases have been associated with low Carnosine levels.
Carnosine has a number of interesting actions:
- It is a potent antioxidant,
- It helps to chelate ionic metals ( flush toxins from the body),
- It has immune-boosting properties
- Aids wound healing
- It is also known to reduce and prevent cell damage caused by beta-amyloid (the substance found in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients).
- Carnosine helps protects neural tissues by blocking and inactivating beta-amyloid
- It could help protect tissues against dementia.
Currently, much attention is being directed at carnosine’s antiaging, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antiglycation, and anti-inflammatory properties.
L-Carnosine Supplements for Aging
Over the past decade, much research has been centered on understanding the pathophysiology of aging, which can be defined as the accumulation of damage at the cellular level that leads to impaired organ functioning and eventually death.
One process that has been connected with aging is the glycation of proteins in the body. This glycation of proteins causes the release of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
Advanced glycation end products, AGEs are formed in concentrated amounts with both aging and diabetes mellitus, but properly using an L-carnosine supplement may induce certain antioxidant and antiglycation effects which inhibit AGE formation.
From the anti-aging standpoint, the following are some very interesting carnosine actions:
- Carnosine has the ability to help prevent glycosylation. Glycosylation is the cross-linking of proteins (and DNA molecules) caused by sugar aldehydes reacting with the amino acids on the protein molecule and creating Advance Glycosylation End-products (AGE’s).
- By acting as an anti-glycosylation compound, carnosine may be beneficial for diabetes, cataracts, neuropathy, kidney failure, and skin conditions, as well as “general” anti-aging properties.
- Australian researchers confirmed that carnosine increases the longevity of human fibroblast cells in the laboratory. It was found to extend the maximum number of times a cell can divide (Hayflick limit), from a “normal” 50 by up to an additional 10 times.
- With such properties, carnosine may be a supplement of choice for longevity.
- In Russians, Carnosine is used (in an eye-drop form) to help treat glaucoma with considerable success. This means that it may have important anti-aging eye functions.
Carnosine seems to directly react with carbonyl groups that attach to older proteins, often resulting from the actions of RNS (reactive nitrogen species), ROS (reactive oxygen species), and certain other protein-glycating agents.
Research has shown that administering carnosine increases the lifespan of laboratory animals, and cultured human cells have also demonstrated significantly increased lifespans.
Carnosine May Heal the Gut
In a cell study, Zinc Carnosine was found to decrease damage to the hair-like structures, called villi that line the gut.
Zinc Carnosine was able to protect against agents that would otherwise cause a leaky gut.
Indomethacin is a drug that triggers the death of a type of cell found in the mucosal membrane of mouse guts, but Zinc Carnosine prevented this.
When the stomach is exposed to bacteria, Zinc Carnosine decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines, which would have resulted in the sort of inflammation that would cause bloating and discomfort.
L-Carnosine Supplement Doses
L-carnosine 500 mg capsules and other supplement forms can be purchased.
According to the Natural Medicines Professional Database (NMPD), 179 carnosine-containing products are available for purchase, and it is advised that you always closely follow the dosing instructions on the products you buy.
Research done on humans showed that L-carnosine sourced from chicken breast extract reaches peak serum concentrations roughly 30 minutes after ingestion.
3.2g and 6.4g daily doses that lasted over 4 weeks resulted in increases estimated between 42.1% and 65.8% respectively.
It is thus believed that the routine use of an L-carnosine supplement can increase muscle carnosine levels.
By most accounts, Carnosine is a non-toxic and perfectly safe product to use. However, it is theoretically possible that Carnosine may compromise blood clotting by inhibiting the enzyme, serum transglutaminase.
This suggestion is purely speculative and I wouldn’t worry about it.
Furthermore, carnosine does bind to some good minerals in the body.
Thus, supplementing with mineral products might be a good idea if you are taking carnosine or carnosine containing products in the long term.
You should take it on an empty stomach to prevent it from binding to good minerals, and remember that it is best to speak with a doctor who knows about your health history before beginning to take any supplements.