Antioxidant carnosine destroys free radicals

Thursday, January 12, 2012 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: carnosine, free radicals, antioxidants

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(NaturalNews) Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant that improves muscle, brain and cardiovascular function. This special molecule is found in healthy animal meat and is being deeply researched for its anti-aging effects. It mainly functions to protect the proteins of the body which aids in tissue healing and repair.

Carnosine is a peptide that is composed of two amino acids: beta-alanine and histidine. Researchers around the world have demonstrated carnosine's ability to scavenge dangerous free radicals. In particular, it works effectively against reactive oxygen species (ROS), the hydroxyl radical and harmful aldehydes that are formed due to the peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids. This is especially important because these are two of the more harmful free radicals to neutralize.

Carnosine is the most potent defense against the process of glycation. Glycation involves the non-enzymatically coordinated bonding of a sugar molecule (glucose/fructose) with either a protein or lipid. This creates sticky proteins and oxidized fats that both act as potent free radicals known as advanced glycolytic enzymes (AGEs). AGEs are associated with accelerated aging processes and produce 50 times more free radicals than non-glycated proteins.

The brain concentrates carnosine to protect itself against AGE formation, excitotoxitiy and lipid oxidation. This reduces brain cell death and inflammatory plaque formation. This process maintains healthy circulation throughout the brain preventing against conditions such as dementia and stroke. Carnosine is also considered a potent copper-zinc chelating agent that inhibits the amyloid-beta cross-linking that leads to Alzheimer's disease.

Carnosine reduces telomere shortening

The newest theory of aging has to do with the chromosomal telomere shortening rate. States of accelerated aging are characterized by fast telomere shortening. Carnosine has been shown to reduce the telomere shortening rate.

One study looked at older fibroblast cells placed in a carnosine medium. Fibroblast cells play an important role in the formation of the skin. The cells bathed in carnosine showed signs of rejuvenation and had an enhanced ability to divide opposed to the control group. The cells in the carnosine medium had an average life span of 413 days compared to 126-139 days for the cells of the control group.

When researchers took the older cells out of the carnosine medium they began to rapidly age again. However, once they put them back into the carnosine medium they again began acting like younger cells. Researchers believe that carnosine keeps cells young through its ability to reduce AGE formation and the ability to replace old proteins.

A 1999 study tested carnosine on lifespan and aging factors in older mice. Carnosine was shown to extend these older mice lifespan by an average of 20% compared to controls. The treated mice were twice as likely to live a full 12 months as the mice who were not given carnosine. The researchers remarked at how the carnosine fed mice had rich color and volume to their coat and significantly fewer ulcers.

Carnosine has been shown in several longevity studies to increase lifespan and improve appearance, brain function and physiological health in aged mice. The researchers believe "carnosine treated animals can be characterized as more resistant to the development of typical aging features."

The best sources of carnosine are in organic animal meat products who fed on grass and seeds. Commercially raised animals have significantly less carnosine due to poor diet and stressful lifestyle. The best sources include grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, free range chicken, turkey and duck. The optimal daily dosage of carnosine is 1 g daily. This is equivalent to about a pound of clean meat per day.

Sources for this article include:

McFarland GA, Holliday R. Retardation of the senescence of cultured human diploid fibroblasts by carnosine. Exp Cell Res. 1994; 212(2):167-75.

McFarland GA, Holliday R. Further evidence for the rejuvenating effects of the dipeptide L-carnosine on cultured human diploid fibroblasts. Exp Gerontol. 1999; 34(1):35-45.

Yuneva MO, Bulygina ER, Gallant SC, et al. Effect of carnosine on age-induced changes in senescence-accelerated mice. J Anti-Aging Med. 1999; 2(4):337-42.

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to

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