Did you know that your muscle, brain, and heart harbors plenty of L-Carnosine? What good does it do to have this substance packed in such high concentrations in these parts of your body?
Actually, the benefits are amazing and numerous as we are just about to see. But did you know that your body could be lacking enough quantities of this very critical substance thus making you miss out on its benefits?
Yes, these dense reserves of L-Carnosine might be missing where they ought to be found in your body especially if you are vegetarian or just advancing in age.
But not to worry.
Numerous supplements containing this vital amino acid have been produced as a remedy of the situation.
However, do these supplements really work to solve the problem? In this article, we will find out, but first, let’s delve into the history of this substance.
A Russian chemist called Vladimir Gulevich was the man who discovered L-Carnosine when he first isolated it from meat samples. It soon went into clinical use in Russia in the 1930s, where it was found to be very effective in treating many diseases and conditions.
Some of these conditions included peptic ulcers., rheumatic polyarthritis, high blood pressure, and other infections.
Interestingly, this substance and the knowledge surrounding it remained a secret locked up in Soviet Russia for many years.
Eventually, the knowledge came out and spread to the west, where it is now being studied extensively in the UK, the USA, Australia, and Japan.
The excitement this substance has generated is such that thousands of scientific debates on it are currently going on online in such places as the Medline database.
One of its hallmarks is when scientists found that this special dipeptide could reverse aged cells and actually make them look and function like your cells, something that was previously thought to be impossible.
What are the benefits of L-Carnosine? The benefits of L-Carnosine are
- Can dramatically increase your physical performance and your endurance
- Promote bone health –it has been shown to help you have strong and healthy joints
- Has anti-aging benefits – studies have shown that this amino acid can make aging cells look and act young again. This was observed when it was applied to cells that were approaching senescence, or the time they were about to die. This is an exciting find because it means that through the action of this amino acid, aging can actually be reversed. The effect, however, lasted as long as the amino acid was present. When it was removed, aging resumed. This means that its usage has to be maintained
- Helps in lowering blood pressure –through vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, L-Carnosine can lower your blood pressure and maintain it at optimum levels
- Protects your liver by cleansing it of toxins
- Helps you achieve weight loss and makes you burn fat fast
- Boosts your brain power
- Anti-cancer benefits – L-Carnosine has been shown to treat various cancers such as those of the colon, liver, and ovary. It significantly slows down the multiplication of the cancer cells in these organs.
- Regulates your blood sugar to optimum levels
- Combats autism
- Promotes your eye health –linked to preventing the development of cataracts
- Can help you deal with diabetes better
- Sharpens your memory
- Combats kidney problems
- Fight wrinkles promote immunity
Carnosine and Carnitine: Clearing up the Confusion between them
Carnosine and Carnitine sound pretty similar to each other, so it’s easy to mix them up. However, these are completely different molecules with different functions.
- Both are composed of amino acids but are different ones. Carnitine is made up of lysine and methionine
- They are both found in rich amounts in meat, but they can also be available as supplements
- They are both useful for their anti-aging properties
- They are also naturally made by the body
- Carnitine can also be used for enhancing physical performance, weight loss, promoting the health of the heart, and improving your mental abilities
L-Carnosine may produce a number of side effects, which may occur especially if the recommended dosage is not followed.
- Stomach pain
- Can also increase chances of getting seizures if you already have epilepsy
- May interfere with your sleep
L-Carnosine is actually a dipeptide (di stands for double, and peptide is a combination of amino acids). So that makes this substance a two in one product, with two amino acids, beta-alanine and L-histidine joined together to make a protein.
It is a 100% natural product, produced by the body and found in generous amounts in skeletal muscle, heart, and brain.
Here are some other interesting basic facts about this fascinating substance.
- Found in higher amounts in muscle, heart, and brain than anywhere else in the body. In fact, it is almost undetectable in other parts of the body!
- Found in higher amounts in males than females
- Decreases with age, so younger people have more of it than older people
- Those on a vegetarian diet have less of it than those who eat meat
- Certain meats have more of it than others. E.g., red meat (such as beef) has more of this substance than white meat (chicken, fish, etc.)
Action of L-Carnosine
Your body produces all kinds of useful proteins, but unregulated it can also produce some pretty abnormal and even dangerous ones. L-Carnosine helps in keeping the body making good proteins through its action of blocking the formation of the carbonyl groups.
For example, it prevents the creation of beta-amyloid proteins, an abnormal protein that causes Alzheimer’s’ disease.
One of the most destructive processes in the body that dipeptide also deals with is the one involving glucose or fructose (these are both sugars) in which they bind to proteins. These effectively destroy the proteins in a process called protein glycosylation.
The action of this dipeptide can stop this by presenting a binding site for the sugars so that they can bind on them and spare the proteins.
Who L-Carnosine supplement is For
- Vegetarians or vegans – a vegetarian diet is deficient in this substance so supplementation may be needed
- Those over 40 – as we age, the quantities of carnosine declines which can be restored through supplements
- Premature aging – people who are experiencing rapid aging than normal may benefit from supplements to slow or reverse the process
Who L-Carnosine is not For
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
- People with low blood pressure. The supplement could send this blood pressure even lower with bad health consequences.
The dosage of this peptide can range from 50mg -150 mg per day to 1000 mg per day, depending on the brand.
L-Carnosine can come in tablet or powder form.
Powdered forms tend to outweigh tablets in some aspects such as
Usually have no gluten, wheat, soy, yeast, additives, and fillers
Tablets typically have gelatin which makes them unsuitable for vegans
However, because they are small and compact, they are easy to determine in terms of the dosage needed.
Carnosine can be taken with or without food.
It is a tasteless powder, which means that it can be conveniently mixed with the food or water you are taking.
Price and availability
There are dozens of supplements of this dipeptide that are on sale online. You can also find them on Amazon.
- Has Great anti-aging benefits
- Can fight cancer
- Keeps your blood sugar at healthy levels
- Enhances your memory and focus
- In theory, could interfere with blood clotting but so far yet to be proven
- Can create a shortage of minerals in your body due to its chelating action on minerals
Carnosine is a powerful bi-peptide (simple protein) found in rich amounts in muscle, heart, and brain. People who are advancing in age, are on vegetarian diets or need to reenergize their bodies to perform better can benefit from L-carnosine supplements. In choosing your supplement however you should know that pure carnosine supplements have only a below 20% absorption rate (typically 10 to 15% absorption).
This is because before carnosine has got the chance to enter the cells (where it can start to benefit the user), it is acted upon in the blood by the enzyme carnosinase which breaks it down (back into alanine and histidine) and causes it to be flushed away of the body unused.
A good supplement should be designed to protect the carnosine it carries from the action of carnosinase. Keep in mind that this situation of losing the needed ingredient to breakage tends to exist with most supplements because they are oral and are absorbed through the gut.
Another thing to watch out for is whether the brand has been tested by a certified third party like ConsumerLab.com or US Pharmacopeia.