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L-carnosine


Not to be confused with L-carnitine, which I also use. Carnosine is a dipeptide, or linkage of two amino acids, histidine and alanine. In muscle it acts as a primary intramuscular buffer, reducing the acid that leads to muscle fatigue. Carnosine also blunts glycation, so culpable in the aging process. I take 1,000 milligrams daily on an empty stomach, usually in the morning.

3 Comments

  1. Hyp_gnosis

    September 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Jerry,

    Have read your material for years and appreciated your insights. I am glad to see you know have a blog.

    I have a question. If Beta Alanine is the rate limiting amino acid in the formation of endogenous carnosine, why would you be supplementing with the di-peptide L-Carnosine?

  2. Scott Welch

    February 11, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Jerry doesn’t Carnosine break into these two aminos once digestion begins? I thought that the only way to increase carnosine levels to supraphysiological levels in the muscle was from Beta Alanine supplementation?

  3. Jerry Brainum

    February 11, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Scott:

    You are correct, but with a caveat. Carnosine is indeed comprised of two bonded amino acids, histidine and beta-alanine. When carnosine is ingested itself, most of it is degraded in the blood through the action of the enzyme, carnosinase. But the resulting products of histidine and beta alanine can be reconverted back into carnosine in muscle. Muscle contains plenty of histidine, so the limiting factor for carnosine synthesis in muscle is beta alanine. Muscle lacks carnosinase, so the carnosine synthesized in muscle stays there for as long as 3 months, similar to the way muscle stays loaded with creatine even after creatine supplementation ends (for 30 days). Some studies show that ingesting about 1,000 milligrams of carnosine itself exceeds the enzymatic breakdown that occurs with smaller does, allowing some carnosine to survive. Carnosine can then be used as an anti-glycation agent in tissues other than muscle. It’s not known at this time if the carnosine built in muscle from beta alanine provides a similar benefit in muscle, although I see no reason why it wouldn’t.

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