Synonyms: Carnosine; N-beta-Alanyl-L-histidine
Molecular Formula: C9H14N4O3
Molecular Weight: 226.23
CAS Number: 305-84-0
L-Carnosine is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. L-Carnosine is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues. A small 2002 study reported that L-Carnosine improved on a measure of 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. Supplemental L-Carnosine may increase corticosterone levels, which can explain the hyperactivity sometimes seen in high doses. Researchers have also shown that L-Carnosine has a number of antioxidant properties that may be beneficial.
L-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. L-Carnosine can oppose glycation and L-Carnosine can chelate divalent metal ions. Chronic glycolysis is suspected to accelerate aging. While a small number of studies have produced evidence of beneficial effects of N-acetyl-carnosine in treating cataracts of the eyes, these and other ophthamological benefits have not been proven.
Typical vegetarian diets are thought to be lacking in L-Carnosine, but whether this has a detrimental effect on vegetarians is controversial. L-Carnosine was found to inhibit diabetic nephropathy by protecting the podocytes and mesangial cells. Because of its antioxidant, antiglycator and metal chelator properties, L-Carnosine supplements have been proposed as a general anti-aging therapy.