|Jmol-3D images||Image 1
|Molar mass||226.23 g mol−1|
253 °C, 526 K, 487 °F ((decomposition))
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Carnosine and carnitine were discovered by Russian chemist V.Gulevich. Researchers in Britain, South Korea, Russia and other countries 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 and it can chelate divalent metal ions. Chronic glycolysis is suspected to accelerate aging. Carnosine was found to inhibit diabetic nephropathy by protecting the podocytes and mesangial cells.
Carnosine containing products are also used in topical preparations to reduce wrinkles on the skin.
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. 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.
A small 2002 study reported that carnosine improved socialization and receptive vocabulary in children with autism. 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. In animal models, supplemental carnosine can increase corticosterone levels, which may explain the hyperactivity sometimes seen in high doses. 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 and protect against alcohol-induced oxidative stress as well as ethanol-induced chronic liver damage. Carnosine is also neuroprotective against permanent cerebral ischemia in mice.
Carnosine can increase the Hayflick limit in human fibroblasts, as well as appearing to reduce the telomere shortening rate. This could potentially favor the growth of certain cancers that thrive due to telomere preservation. Carnosine is also considered as a geroprotector.
Since the carno- prefix in the word refers to meat--the source mentioned above--typical vegetarian diets are thought[by whom?] to be lacking in carnosine, but whether this has a detrimental effect on vegetarians is unknown.
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.
See also 
- Acetyl-carnosine, a similar molecule used to treat lens cataracts
- Carnosinemia, a disease of excess carnosine due to an enzyme defect/deficiency.
- Anserine, another dipeptide antioxidant (found in birds)
- Carnosine synthase, enzyme that helps carnosine production
- Marios Kyriazis
- "C9625 L-Carnosine ~99%, crystalline". Sigma-Aldrich.
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- Attanasio, Francesco; Cataldo, Sebastiano; Fisichella, Salvatore; Nicoletti, Silvia; Nicoletti, Vincenzo Giuseppe; Pignataro, Bruno; Savarino, Anna; Rizzarelli, Enrico (2009). "Protective Effects of l- and d-Carnosine on α-Crystallin Amyloid Fibril Formation: Implications for Cataract Disease". Biochemistry 48 (27): 6522–31. doi:10.1021/bi900343n. PMID 19441807.
- Amoaku, Winfried (August 6, 2008). "N-Acetyl Carnosine for Cataracts". Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
- Chez, M. G.; Buchanan, C. P.; Aimonovitch, M. C.; Becker, M.; Schaefer, K.; Black, C.; Komen, J. (2002). "Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of L-Carnosine Supplementation in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders". Journal of Child Neurology 17 (11): 833–7. doi:10.1177/08830738020170111501. PMID 12585724.
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- Tomonaga, Shozo; Tachibana, Tetsuya; Takagi, Tomo; Saito, Ei-Suke; Zhang, Rong; Denbow, D.Michael; Furuse, Mitsuhiro (2004). "Effect of central administration of carnosine and its constituents on behaviors in chicks". Brain Research Bulletin 63 (1): 75–82. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2004.01.002. PMID 15121241.
- Renner, Christof; Zemitzsch, Nadine; Fuchs, Beate; Geiger, Kathrin D; Hermes, Matthias; Hengstler, Jan; Gebhardt, Rolf; Meixensberger, Jürgen et al. (2010). "Carnosine retards tumor growth in vivo in an NIH3T3-HER2/neu mouse model". Molecular Cancer 9: 2. doi:10.1186/1476-4598-9-2. PMC 2818694. PMID 20053283.
- Ozel Turkcu, Ummuhani; Bilgihan, Ayşe; Biberoglu, Gursel; Mertoglu Caglar, Oznur (2010). "Carnosine supplementation protects rat brain tissue against ethanol-induced oxidative stress". Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 339 (1–2): 55–61. doi:10.1007/s11010-009-0369-x. PMID 20047045.
- Liu, Wen-hu; Liu, Te-Chung; Yin, Mei-Chin (2008). "Beneficial effects of histidine and carnosine on ethanol-induced chronic liver injury". Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (5): 1503–9. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2007.12.013. PMID 18222027.
- Min, Jiangyong; Senut, Marie-Claude; Rajanikant, Krishnamurthy; Greenberg, Eric; Bandagi, Ram; Zemke, Daniel; Mousa, Ahmad; Kassab, Mounzer et al. (2008). "Differential neuroprotective effects of carnosine, anserine, andN-acetyl carnosine against permanent focal ischemia". Journal of Neuroscience Research 86 (13): 2984–91. doi:10.1002/jnr.21744. PMC 2805719. PMID 18543335.
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- Shao, Lan; Li, Qing-Huan; Tan, Zheng (2004). "L-Carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening rate in cultured normal fibroblasts". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 324 (2): 931–6. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.09.136. PMID 15474517.
- Wang, AM; Ma, C; Xie, ZH; Shen, F (2000). "Use of carnosine as a natural anti-senescence drug for human beings". Biochemistry. Biokhimiia 65 (7): 869–71. PMID 10951108.