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Carnosine

Carnosine: Information

L-carnosine is made up of 2 amino acids, histidine and beta-alanine, making it a dipeptide. L-carnosine is most heavily concentrated in those body tissues with the greatest energy requirements; skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and the brain. Carnosine has a broad range of functions in the body.

Carnosine's Health Benefits

Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant1 and metal-chelating agent2, but much of the interest in carnosine supplements center around its ability to inhibit the process of glycation3, which accelerates the aging process. Glycation occurs when sugar combines with protein, forming non-functional compounds (AGEs) that damage cells, impair normal function and generate free-radicals. Wrinkled skin, cataracts and some types of age-related mental decline are all examples of the effects of AGEs.

Of special interest to athletes and strength trainers is L-carnosine's effect on muscle function. Carnosine plays a major role as a pH buffer in muscle tissue, increasing its work capacity.4 Increasing carnosine levels is the focus of several preworkout formulas for this reason.

Using Carnosine

Carnosine supplements should be used as directed. Doses from 500-3000 mg have been used safely.

References:
1. Nephron Clin Pract. 2007;107(1):c26-34. Epub 2007 Jul 24.
2. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Mar 15;1570(2):89-96.
3. Mol Vis. 2006 Mar 27;12:205-14.
4. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Nov;103(5):1736-43. Epub 2007 Aug 9.

 

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