What is a Carnosine Supplement?

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  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 April 2019
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The carnosine supplement, sometimes called L-Carnosine, typically comes in capsule or tablet form. The compound contains two types of amino acid that the body produces naturally and stores in large doses in the brain, heart and other muscle tissues. For that reason, the supplement is thought to stimulate brain function. Carnosine may have several benefits similar to the effect of antioxidants on the body, and it is taken by many people as an anti-aging measure.

Amino acids, of which there are many different types, are essential for a body to grow muscle tissue. A carnosine supplement may contain both histidine and beta-alanine, two kinds of amino acid used by human bodies for healthy heart and muscle function. While most everybody can benefit from increasing amino acid levels, bodybuilders often use a carnosine supplement because they are constantly tearing and rebuilding muscles.

By stimulating the growth and repair of brain cells as well, carnosine is believed to promote mental health. Some studies suggest carnosine’s added ability to flush extra metals from the body. Excessive levels of some metals, such as copper or mercury, could have a negative effect on the body over time. Studies have linked the oxidization of such metals in the body to diseases including Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Much like antioxidants, a carnosine supplement may aid in the fight against aging. The carnosine compound has the ability to counteract the effects of the glycation process that typically happens to a body over time. During glycation, proteins in the body begin to create free radicals.

Free radicals could result in the deterioration of tissues both inside and out. Wrinkles and failing eyesight are often linked to free radicals. There has not yet been conclusive evidence in trials of any carnosine supplement slowing signs of aging in humans. Tests on rats, however, have had positive results. Some people recommend taking carnosine in addition to antioxidants to speed up the effects.

There is not much scientific evidence to prove the various abilities of carnosine supplements or to determine the exact amount needed each day to achieve results. Believers in the product, however, point out that no major side effects have been reported. Therefore, taking the supplement has a fairly low risk with a potentially high gain.

As with most dietary supplements, carnosine is not typically recommended for pregnant women or those who are currently nursing. Some warnings caution the use of carnosine supplements for minors under the age of 18. If one is considering adding carnosine to the diet, consulting a physician or licensed nutritionist is often a safe move. If the supplement is determined safe for an individual, he should then purchase the capsules from a reputable source.



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