9 Best Benefits of Carnosine

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Supplementation with carnosine may be required for certain medical conditions, but before using this compound, it is important to understand its effects.

What is Carnosine?

Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule that is composed of two amino acids, histidine, and beta-alanine. This molecule is best known for its function as an antioxidant within the body and has recently become a popular supplement, due to its apparent effects on degenerative and chronic diseases, as well as cardiovascular problems. The direct impact of this molecule on oxidative stress has brought it into the spotlight of natural health practitioners.

The most readily available source of carnosine is through protein sources, namely animal sources, so it can be difficult for vegetarians and vegans to acquire proper levels. Some of the major dietary sources for carnosine include the following.

Pricking the finger for blood to test blood glucose levels

Measuring blood glucose levels Photo Credit: Shutterstock

While there are no non-meat sources of this dipeptide molecule, it is possible to acquire both histidine and beta-alanine from plant-based sources, and carnosine supplements are always an option. For vegans, however, even derivative products of animals are normally avoided, so a careful discussion with your doctor may be required.

Carnosine Benefits

The top benefits of using carnosine include the following:

  • Relieving Symptoms of Autism
  • Preventing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improving digestive health
  • Preventing premature aging
  • Faster wound healing
  • Improving joint support

Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies have shown that this antioxidant molecule is able to reduce oxidative stress in neural pathways and lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Autism

Supplementation with this molecule is one of the few effective treatments for autism symptoms; the dosage will likely be high, but the effects it can have on the nervous system can be measurable for families of autistic patients.

Cataracts

Antioxidant compounds like carnosine are crucial for fighting back against the signs of aging, including the onset of macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts.

Wound Healing

Post-surgery, some studies have found that administering carnosine can speed the healing process and even reduce the signs of scarring.

Digestive Health

This molecule has been directly linked to certain antibacterial functions within the gut, specifically in relation to Heliobacter pylori, a very common bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal system.

Skin Care

Carnosine is known to impact skin appearance and premature aging through its antioxidant activities, minimizing the impact of free radicals, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and helping to reduce scars, blemishes, and age spots.

Joint Support

Not only is this dipeptide molecule antioxidant, but also anti-inflammatory, and is commonly recommended from chronic inflammatory conditions, such as headaches, migraines, gout, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bodybuilding

One of the components of this molecule is beta-alanine, which is well known in the bodybuilding world for its ability to improve endurance and boosting muscle growth and development. As a result, l-carnosine is often used by professional athletes and weightlifters.

Carnosine Dosage

Generally speaking, the recommended dosage for l-carnosine per day depends on usage. As much as 400 milligrams delivered twice daily may be required for autism treatment, whereas smaller daily dosages of as little as 50 milligrams may be recommended for other conditions. Speak to your doctor about specific dosage levels based on your health needs.

Carnosine Side Effects

There are some known side effects of carnosine supplementation, including issues with low blood pressure and complications with pregnancy.

  • Blood Pressure: This dipeptide molecule is known to lower the blood pressure and protect cardiovascular health, but when taken in conjunction with medications to lower the blood pressure, it can result in dangerous levels of hypotension.
  • Pregnancy: Due to a lack of research and the stimulant effects that this compound can have on the body, pregnancy and nursing women are recommended to avoid using this supplement.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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