How to turn back time.
Today, we are all looking for the fountain of youth to keep us fit and beautiful. L-carnosine supplements can help you maintain a youthful look as well as a healthy physique. What more can you ask for?
What is it?
L-carnosine (or carnosine) is a protein molecule made up of two amino acids, beta alanine and histidine. It is a dipeptide amino acid commonly found in the brain and muscle tissues of humans and animals.
Unlike other amino acids, as an antioxidant, L-carnosine has the ability to continue working even when cells are being attacked by free radicals, preventing further or total damage. Food sources for L-carnosine are from animals, especially beef, pork and chicken.
How does it work?
L-carnosine prevents glycation, a random process that occurs when a protein molecule bonds with a sugar molecule without the necessary enzyme to manage its action, resulting in impaired body functions. In this aspect, it is an antioxidant that protects the human organs from cell damage caused by internal and external factors. Internal factors include insufficient supply of L-carnosine in the body and external factors are the free radicals in the environment that bring stress and injure the human body at the cellular level. Those practicing a vegan diet (no animal products can be at risk of lowered L-carnosine levels if they don’t replace the depleted supply. Elderly individuals also have diminished capacities to produce L-carnosine.
Can it make you look younger and live longer?
Research on the anti-aging effects of higher doses of L-carnosine began in the 1990s and the recently publicized results have generated significant attention. Russian scientist Dr. Sergey Stvolinsky conducted one such study using fruit flies in his experiment. Male fruit flies had a 20 percent increase in average life span when fed small amounts of carnosine. Further analyses showed its effectiveness on human longevity as well.
Now it is widely recognized as one of the most potent and effective anti-aging substances, proven to lengthen the human life span, protect against diseases and give users rejuvenated and wrinkle-free skin. Wrinkles and sagging skin are caused by the accumulation of damaged proteins that cross-link in the skin. Carnosine protects protein from excessive damage, leading to the preservation of connective tissues that gives a person firm, youthful skin.
What are the specific health benefits?
- Protects the brain from aging. L-carnosine prevents the increased production of oxidants, nitrogen and blood sugar that is triggered by the release of free radicals, putting the brain cells at risk for premature degeneration. L-carnosine supplements play a significant role in reducing toxicity to the brain and preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.
- Protects the cardiovascular system. The antioxidant powers of L-carnosine protect the heart and blood vessels from stress by scavenging the free radicals and blocking toxins. It helps in lowering the "bad" (LDL) cholesterol that clogs the arterial walls and increases the risk for strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
- Lessens the risk for diabetes. L-carnosine controls the elevation of blood sugar that leads to diabetes by preventing the glycation process and increasing the number of insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas.
- Defends against cancer. As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, L-carnosine supports DNA synthesis and stops its destruction, which can be the cause of cancer. It hinders the metabolism of cancer cells and helps in the prevention of metastatic growths. It also helps in getting rid of the Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium linked to stomach and peptic ulcer.
- Blocks cataract formation and improves vision. L-carnosine has anti-glycation properties that protect the eyes’ lenses from the formation of cataracts and prevents vision impairment. Its protection against the onset of diabetes also benefits the eyes since diabetes is a risk factor for cataract formation.
- Promotes wound healing. Post-operative wounds heal faster when L-carnosine levels are sufficient in the body. In a study on rats and subsequently on humans, there was higher tensile strength of the skin at the operative site if L-carnosine was included in the diet. The combined action of the dipeptides in L-carnosine were the result of stimulation of early effusion and enhanced collagen synthesis.
The typical diet of Americans contains about 250 mg of ingested L-carnosine. However, this is quickly eliminated from the blood by the carnosinase enzyme. To get the anti-aging benefits of L-carnosine, 1000 mg is recommended daily. This can be sourced from food supplements, since relying on diet alone is not enough. There are no adverse side effects to taking L-carnosine supplements even at higher doses.
Zinc-carnosine appears to inhibit the growth of H. pylori because of the interference of zinc with urease activity. H. pylori excretes urease to enhance its own proliferation in the acidic environment of the stomach. The urease catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. It is this presence of ammonia and its neutralizing effect on the gastric acids, raising the pH, that allows the H. pylori to survive in the gastric mucosal cells. The now achlorhydric and neutral pH state then allows the bacteria to penetrate through the mucus to the gastric epithelium where it can survive. The urease activity is essential for the initial gastric colonization of H. pylori. When the active nickel ion center of the urease is replaced with zinc, the urease is inactivated, leading to the inhibition of H. pylori.
A large systematic review by nutritional experts has now concluded that regular intake of cranberry juice and other dietary products “might constitute a low-cost, large-scale alternative solution applicable for populations at risk for H. pylori colonization.”57 It thus seems clear that cranberries and their extracts can take their place alongside zinc-carnosine as important components of an effective stomach health regimen.