L-Carnosine

Product Name Product Name
Other names beta-alanyl-L-histidine, β-Alanyl-L-histidine
CAS Number 305-84-0
Molecular formula C9H14N4O3
Molecular Weight 226.23 
Appearance White crystalline powder
Specifications 99%-101% HPLC
Benefits Enhance endurance, antioxidant

What is L-Carnosine?

Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine), according to Wikipedia, is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. It is highly concentrated in skeletal muscle, the lenses of the eyes, the brain and the nervous system. Unlike other amino acids, as an antioxidant, L-carnosine has the ability to continue working even when cells are being attacked by free radicals, preventing further or total damage. Food sources for L-carnosine are from animals, especially beef, pork and chicken. It  is often misspelled as carnosin.

Carnosine vs beta alanine

Much of Beta-Alanine’s effects come through boosting the synthesis of an intramuscular dipeptide (two amino acids) called carnosine. We can increase our carnosine levels by increasing the ingestion of Beta-Alanine which is one of the two amino acids that make up carnosine. Why not just take straight carnosine? When you ingest carnosine in isolation, most of it is broken down in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract into its constituent amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. Some intact carnosine does escape the GI tract freely but even that amount is quickly broken down in our blood by the enzyme Carnosinase. In a very short time, all the carnosine you just ingested is either eliminated or converted to beta-alanine and histidine. These two amino acids are then taken into the muscle, where they are converted back to carnosine. This is the key. Unfortunately, only approximately 40% of the carnosine you take actually contains beta-alanine, making it inefficient at best .You are better off, from both efficiency and a financial standpoint, taking Beta-Alanine directly. You would have to take substantially more carnosine just to approach the increased levels of intramuscular carnosine achieved by taking the research supported dose of beta-alanine alone.

Here is why it is so important to use Beta-Alanine in supplement form to concentrate carnosine in your muscles. When you ingest Beta-Alanine, your body transports it into your muscles and with the help of the enzyme carnosine synthetase, combines it with histidine to rebuild carnosine within your muscles.

How does L-carnosine work?

L-carnosine prevents glycation, a random process that occurs when a protein molecule bonds with a sugar molecule without the necessary enzyme to manage its action, resulting in impaired body functions. In this aspect, it is an antioxidant that protects the human organs from cell damage caused by internal and external factors. Internal factors include insufficient supply of L-carnosine in the body and external factors are the free radicals in the environment that bring stress and injure the human body at the cellular level. Those practicing a vegan diet (no animal products can be at risk of lowered L-carnosine levels if they don’t replace the depleted supply. Elderly individuals also have diminished capacities to produce L-carnosine.

Benefits of taking Carnosine supplements

Research indicates that carnosine has powerful antioxidant properties. Carnosine also appears to fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. It’s thought that carnosine’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects could help protect against a number of aging-related conditions (such asAlzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease). Carnosine is very useful for athletes and those who need muscular endurance; and it also has benefits for general health, especially in slowing down the unwanted effects of aging.

L-Carnosine for Endurance

The Russian scientist W.S. Gulewich proved, in 1953, that carnosine significantly increases chemical buffering in skeletal muscles, the ones you use in exercise. Buffering is a process whereby the acid-alkali balance of the muscles is maintained, despite the fact that lactic acid production during exercise is trying to make the muscles more acidic.

L-Carnosine and Antioxidant Benefits

The combination of amino acids in L-carnosine has a synergistic effect that rejuvenates cells, improves immunity, decreases inflammation and prevents formation of certain proteins in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, notes Fossel. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and fatigue-reducing benefits also make L-carnosine a favored supplement among athletes and bodybuilders for improving athletic performance and speeding injury recovery time.

L-Carnosine and Eye Health

According to the Nutra Ingredients website, researchers found that carnosine might be effective in preventing and treating cataracts, an eye condition that causes clouding of the lens. Scientists discovered that carnosine supplementation helps restore clarity in the lenses, partly due to its ability to repair alpha-crystallin, the major protein in the lens that is responsible for producing the cloudiness. Although further research has to be conducted, carnosine seems promising for improving eye health.

L-Carnosine and  Autism

In the Chez, et al study, the researchers report that L-Carnosine may improve receptive language, auditory processing, socialization, awareness of surroundings, and even help fine motor planning and expressive language when compared to placebo. Responses are usually seen between one to eight weeks after beginning treatment.

Carnosine and anti-aging benefits

carnosine was appearing everywhere: in supplements, eye drops, and skin creams — all promoting its anti-aging benefits. Dr Oz talked about L-Carnosine as a supplement for anti-aging that will help a person look and feel younger, and might improve eyesight, etc. He noted that as we age our natural levels of L-Carnosine drop.

L-Carnosine may be effective for age-related conditions, including:
1) Neurological degeneration,
2) Cellular senescence,
3) Cross-linking of skin collagen and/or the eye lens,
4) Accumulation of damaged proteins,
5) Muscle atrophy,
6) Brain circulation deficit,
7) LDL cholesterol oxidation,
8) DNA chromosome damage, and
9) Formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).
L-Carnosine is non-toxic and normally is obtained from meats in the diet.

Carnosine Side Effects

Regular use of Carnosine is thought to be very safe. Few side effects have been reported when used within normal dose ranges. Doses may range from 50mg – 1000mg per day depending on factors such as age, health conditions, or a physician’s recommendation. It may possibly have a hyperactive effect on autistic children, though it is not known for certain at this time. Even though no adverse effects have been reported, it is recommended that women pregnant or nursing do not supplement with Carnosine until it’s effects on pregnancy are further known.

Carnosine dosage

The appropriate dose of carnosine depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for carnosine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.