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  Carnosine  
 
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Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide made up of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and l-histidine. Long-lived cells such as nerve cells and muscle cells contain high levels of carnosine. Muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the maximum life spans of animal species. Carnosine levels decline with age. Carnosine has the remarkable ability to rejuvenate cells approaching senescence (the end of the life cycle of dividing cells), restoring normal appearance and extending cellular life span. As an antioxidant, carnosine potently quenches that most destructive of free radicals, the hydroxyl radical, as well as superoxide, singlet oxygen and the peroxyl radical. Surprisingly, carnosine was the only antioxidant to significantly protect chromosomes from oxidative damage due to 90% oxygen exposure.

Carnosine's ability to rejuvenate connective tissue cells may explain its beneficial effects on wound healing. In addition, skin aging is bound up with protein modification. Damaged proteins accumulate and cross-link in the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity. In the lens of the eye, protein cross-linking is part of cataract formation.

Now that many are cutting down on meat -the main dietary source of carnosine –supplementation, when indicated, becomes more important. Carnosine is safe, with no toxicity even at dosages above 500mg/Kg of body weight in animal studies. The enzyme carnosinase must be saturated with more carnosine than it is able to neutralize in order to make free carnosine available to the rest of the body.

There are thought to be many mechanisms responsible for aging. Carnosine's life extension potential places it on a par with CoQ10 as a cornerstone of longevity nutrition.
 

 
 

Carnosine can help with the following:
 
 
Aging  Cataracts / Risk
 Carnosine eye drops have been shown to delay vision senescence in humans, being effective in 100% of cases of primary senile cataract and 80% of cases of mature senile cataract. [Biochemistry (Moscow). 2000; 65(7): pp.869-71]

These are remarkable results considering that the best that could normally be expected would be a slight improvement, a halt to the progression and under normal circumstances a worsening of the disease. Importantly, it was also noted that there were no side effects noted in any of the cases.

  Premature/Signs of Aging
 
 


KEY
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Antioxidant:  A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Cataract:  A steadily worsening disease of the eye in which the lens becomes cloudy as a result of the precipitation of proteins. Most cataracts are caused by the functions of the body breaking down. Eye trauma, such as from a puncture wound, may also result in cataracts.

Enzymes:  Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

Free Radical:  A free radical is an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron. Because another element can easily pick up this free electron and cause a chemical reaction, these free radicals can effect dramatic and destructive changes in the body. Free radicals are activated in heated and rancid oils and by radiation in the atmosphere, among other things.

Kilogram:  1000 grams, 2.2lbs.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Protein:  Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.