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Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. It is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues. It is a neuropeptide.

Carnosine and carnitine were discovered by Russian chemist V.Gulevich.[1] Researchers in Britain,[2] South Korea,[3] Russia[4][5] and other countries[6][7][8] have shown that carnosine has a number of antioxidant properties that may be beneficial. Carnosine has been proven to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as alpha-beta unsaturated aldehydes formed from peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids during oxidative stress.

Carnosine can oppose glycation[9][10] and it can chelate divalent metal ions. Chronic glycolysis is suspected to accelerate aging.[11] Carnosine was found to inhibit diabetic nephropathy by protecting the podocytes and mesangial cells.[12]

Carnosine containing products are also used in topical preparations to reduce wrinkles on the skin.[13]

Some studies have detected beneficial effects of N-acetylcarnosine in preventing and treating cataracts of the eyes; in one of these, carnosine was found to reduce cloudiness in rat lenses that were exposed to guanidine to cause cataracts.[14] However, claims that carnosine confers these and other posited ophthalmological benefits are, as yet, insufficiently supported for endorsement by the mainstream medical community; Britain's Royal College of Ophthalmologists, for instance, has asserted that neither safety nor efficacy has been sufficiently demonstrated to recommend carnosine's use as a topical treatment for cataracts.[15]

A small 2002 study reported that carnosine improved socialization and receptive vocabulary in children with autism.[16] Improvement in this study could have been due to maturation, educational interventions, placebo effect, or other confounds that were not addressed in the study design.[17] In animal models, supplemental carnosine can increase corticosterone levels, which may explain the hyperactivity sometimes seen in high doses.[18] However, the aforementioned study used carnosine injected into chicks intracerebroventricularly, and a raise in corticosterone levels has not yet been found in humans.

In animal models carnosine has been shown to retard cancer growth[19] and protect against alcohol-induced oxidative stress[20] as well as ethanol-induced chronic liver damage.[21] Carnosine is also neuroprotective against permanent poor oxygen supply to brain in mice.[22]

Carnosine can increase the Hayflick limit in human fibroblasts,[23] as well as appearing to reduce the telomere shortening rate.[24] This could potentially favor the growth of certain cancers that thrive due to telomere preservation.[13] Carnosine is also considered as a geroprotector.

The Professor Wang et al. clinical trial study called 'Use of carnosine as a natural anti-senescence drug for human beings' was carried out on 96 patients with cataracts of varying degrees of severity, which showed a success rate of 80% in advanced senile cataracts, and 100% in patients with mild to moderate cataracts, over the 6 months trial period.[25]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. (1900). Ueber das Carnosin, eine neue organische Base des Fleischextractes. Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 33 (2): 1902.
  2. (1989). Carnosine, homocarnosine and anserine: Could they act as antioxidants in vivo?. The Biochemical journal 264 (3): 863–9.
  3. (1999). Hydrogen peroxide-mediated Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase fragmentation: Protection by carnosine, homocarnosine and anserine. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 1472 (3): 651.
  4. (1998). Effect of carnosine and its components on free-radical reactions. Membrane & cell biology 12 (1): 89–99.
  5. (1994). L-carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) and carcinine (beta-alanylhistamine) act as natural antioxidants with hydroxyl-radical-scavenging and lipid-peroxidase activities. The Biochemical journal 304 (2): 509–16.
  6. A. Karton, R. J. O’Reilly, D. I. Pattison, M. J. Davies and L. Radom (2012). Computational design of effective, bioinspired HOCl antioxidants: The role of intramolecular Cl+ and H+ shifts.. Journal of the American Chemical Society.
  7. (1994). Endogenous skeletal muscle antioxidants. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 34 (4): 403–26.
  8. (1988). Antioxidant Activity of Carnosine, Homocarnosine, and Anserine Present in Muscle and Brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 85 (9): 3175.
  9. (2005). Carnosine: A Versatile Antioxidant and Antiglycating Agent. Science of Aging Knowledge Environment 2005 (18): pe12.
  10. (2007). Carnosine and its constituents inhibit glycation of low-density lipoproteins that promotes foam cell formation in vitro. FEBS Letters 581 (5): 1067–70.
  11. (2006). Does Chronic Glycolysis Accelerate Aging? Could This Explain How Dietary Restriction Works?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1067: 361–8.
  12. (2005). Carnosine as a Protective Factor in Diabetic Nephropathy: Association with a Leucine Repeat of the Carnosinase Gene CNDP1. Diabetes 54 (8): 2320–7.
  13. 13.0 13.1 (2010). Sex-specific serum biomarker patterns in adults with Asperger's syndrome. Molecular Psychiatry 16 (12): 1213–20.
  14. (2009). Protective Effects of l- and d-Carnosine on α-Crystallin Amyloid Fibril Formation: Implications for Cataract Disease. Biochemistry 48 (27): 6522–31.
  15. Amoaku, Winfried N-Acetyl Carnosine for Cataracts. Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
  16. (2002). Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of L-Carnosine Supplementation in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Child Neurology 17 (11): 833–7.
  17. (2005). Novel treatments for autistic spectrum disorders. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 11 (2): 131–42.
  18. (2004). Effect of central administration of carnosine and its constituents on behaviors in chicks. Brain Research Bulletin 63 (1): 75–82.
  19. (2010). Carnosine retards tumor growth in vivo in an NIH3T3-HER2/neu mouse model. Molecular Cancer 9: 2.
  20. (2010). Carnosine supplementation protects rat brain tissue against ethanol-induced oxidative stress. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 339 (1–2): 55–61.
  21. (2008). Beneficial effects of histidine and carnosine on ethanol-induced chronic liver injury. Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (5): 1503–9.
  22. (2008). Differential neuroprotective effects of carnosine, anserine, andN-acetyl carnosine against permanent focal ischemia. Journal of Neuroscience Research 86 (13): 2984–91.
  23. (1994). Retardation of the Senescence of Cultured Human Diploid Fibroblasts by Carnosine. Experimental Cell Research 212 (2): 167–75.
  24. (2004). L-Carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening rate in cultured normal fibroblasts. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 324 (2): 931–6.
  25. (2000). Use of carnosine as a natural anti-senescence drug for human beings. Biochemistry. Biokhimiia 65 (7): 869–71.


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