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Carnosine (L-Carnosine)

This History of Carnosine as a medicine and dietary supplement

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A wide range of therapeutic uses have been proposed for this remarkable substance. As early as 1935, carnosine was recognized as a treatment for polyarthritis. Carnosine has the remarkable ability to down-regulate cellular and enzymatic processes when in excess, and up-regulate them when suppressed.

Several recent studies suggest that a combination of zinc and carnosine provide gastric mucosal protection against various irritants and are effective as antiulcerogenic substances (Odashima et al. 2002).

For example, carnosine decreases platelet aggregation in patients with abnormal clotting tendencies ("thins the blood"), and increases platelet aggregation in patients with low clotting indices. Carnosine has protective effects on blood cell membranes, enhancing their survival, and has demonstrated cell membrane- stabilizing effects, offering protection against chemical-induced hemolytic anemia.

Table 1. Carnosine as complementary therapy


Year of commencement

1. Arthritis (polyarthritis) 1935
2. Gastric and duodenal ulcers 1936
3. Wound healing 1940
4. Hypertension (blood pressure) 1941
5. Antibiotic effect 1969
6. Adrenal cortex effect 1976
7. Alleviation of sleep apnea 1977
8. Treatment of trauma 1980
9. Prevention of seizures 1989
10. Coronary heart disease 1989
11. Anti-inflammatory effect 1971, 1986
12. Cataracts 1989
13. Anti-carcinogenic effect 1989
14. Immunologic effects 1986,1989
15. Prevention of radiation damage 1990
16. ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, epilepsy, other neurological & psychiatric 2001


Summary of Benefits

  • safe, naturally present in food and in the body
  • versatile antioxidant and aldehyde scavenger
  • quenches hydroxyl, superoxide and peroxyl radicals
  • superior protection of chromosomes from oxygen damage
  • suppresses lipid peroxidation
  • most effective natural glycation fighter
  • inhibits formation of AGEs
  • protects proteins from AGE toxicity
  • protects proteins from cross-linking
  • multifunctional protein and phospholipid protector
  • protects against formation of protein carbonyls, the hallmark of protein damage
  • inhibits damaged proteins from damaging healthy proteins
  • aids recycling of damaged proteins by protecting the proteasomes
  • helps preserve normal protein turnover
  • extends lifespan 20 % in senescence-accelerated mice
  • dramatically improves behavior and appearance of old mice
  • dramatic effect in Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • protects brain cells from excitotoxicity
  • protects brain proteins and biochemistry
  • preserves brain biochemical functions
  • safeguards brain chemistry in disorders overproducing free radicals
  • rejuvenates senescent human cells in culture
  • increases cell life span
  • restores youthful appearance and growth patterns to cells approaching senescence
  • protects against metal toxicity
  • chelates copper and zinc
  • naturally protects against copper-zinc toxicity in the brain
  • copper-zinc chelators dissolve Alzheimers disease plaques
  • inhibits cross-linking of amyloid-beta into Alzheimers disease plaques

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