|Jmol-3D images||Image 1
|Molar mass||226.23 g mol−1|
|Melting point||253 °C (487 °F; 526 K) (decomposition)|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)|
|(what is: / ?)|
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.
Like carnitine, carnosine is composed of the root word carn, meaning flesh, alluding to its prevalence in animal protein. A vegetarian (especially vegan) diet is deficient in adequate carnosine, compared to levels found in a standard diet.
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 rise 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 poor oxygen supply to brain 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.
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.
In humans, postprandial blood plasma levels of carnosine is zero within several hours of red meat consumption, inferring that carnosine is rapidly metabolized considering the slow digestion of animal protein. This denotes a significantly short-lived impact when carnosine is taken in the form of a dietary supplement, though the latent cascade of effects from supplementing carnosine may still prove beneficial.
Carnosine acts as an antiglycating agent, reducing the rate of formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), and ultimately reducing development of atherosclerotic plaque build-up. Chronic glycolysis is speculated to accelerate aging, making carnosine a candidate for therapeutic potential.
- 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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