- What other names is Carnosine known by?
- What is Carnosine?
- How does Carnosine work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Carnosine.
Carnosine is a protein building block that is naturally produced in the body. It is concentrated in muscles when they are working, and it is also found in the heart, brain, and many other parts of the body.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Autism. Early research suggests that taking L-carnosine by mouth for 8 weeks may improve symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders.
- Exercise performance. Early research suggests that taking a single dose of a specific chicken breast extract (CBEX) containing carnosine and anserine by mouth does not improve cycling power in healthy active men.
- Complications of diabetes.
- Other conditions.
Carnosine is important for many normal body functions including the proper function and development of the muscles, heart, liver, kidneys, brain, and many other organs. There is some interest in using carnosine to prevent aging because it seems to interfere with certain chemicals that might play a role in the aging process.
There is not enough information available to know if carnosine is safe to take for medical conditions.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking carnosine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Carnosine might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking carnosine along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much carnosine if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.
The appropriate dose of carnosine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for carnosine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Babizhayev, M. A. Antioxidant activity of L-carnosine, a natural histidine-containing dipeptide in crystalline lens. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 8-22-1989;1004(3):363-371. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Deyev, A. I., and Linberg, L. F. Lipid peroxidation as a possible cause of cataract. Mech.Ageing Dev. 1988;44(1):69-89. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Deyev, A. I., Yermakova, V. N., Brikman, I. V., and Bours, J. Lipid peroxidation and cataracts: N-acetylcarnosine as a therapeutic tool to manage age-related cataracts in human and in canine eyes. Drugs R.D. 2004;5(3):125-139. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Deyev, A. I., Yermakova, V. N., Semiletov, Y. A., Davydova, N. G., Doroshenko, V. S., Zhukotskii, A. V., and Goldman, I. M. Efficacy of N-acetylcarnosine in the treatment of cataracts. Drugs R.D. 2002;3(2):87-103. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Deyev, A. I., Yermakova, V. N., Semiletov, Y. A., Davydova, N. G., Kurysheva, N. I., Zhukotskii, A. V., and Goldman, I. M. N-Acetylcarnosine, a natural histidine-containing dipeptide, as a potent ophthalmic drug in treatment of human cataracts. Peptides 2001;22(6):979-994. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Seguin, M. C., Gueyne, J., Evstigneeva, R. P., Ageyeva, E. A., and Zheltukhina, G. A. L-carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) and carcinine (beta-alanylhistamine) act as natural antioxidants with hydroxyl-radical-scavenging and lipid-peroxidase activities. Biochem.J 12-1-1994;304 ( Pt 2):509-516. View abstract.
Babizhayev, M. A., Yermakova, V. N., Sakina, N. L., Evstigneeva, R. P., Rozhkova, E. A., and Zheltukhina, G. A. N alpha-acetylcarnosine is a prodrug of L-carnosine in ophthalmic application as antioxidant. Clin.Chim.Acta 10-15-1996;254(1):1-21. View abstract.
Bando, K., Ichihara, K., Toyoshima, H., Shimotuji, T., Koda, K., Hayashi, C., and Miyai, K. Decreased activity of carnosinase in serum of patients with chronic liver disorders. Clin.Chem. 1986;32(8):1563-1565. View abstract.
Bauman, M. and Kemper, T. L. Histoanatomic observations of the brain in early infantile autism. Neurology 1985;35(6):866-874. View abstract.
Begum, G., Cunliffe, A., and Leveritt, M. Physiological role of carnosine in contracting muscle. Int J Sport Nutr.Exerc.Metab 2005;15(5):493-514. View abstract.
Bhuyan, K. C. and Bhuyan, D. K. Molecular mechanism of cataractogenesis: III. Toxic metabolites of oxygen as initiators of lipid peroxidation and cataract. Curr.Eye Res. 1984;3(1):67-81. View abstract.
Boldyrev, A. A. [Carnosine metabolism in excitable tissues: biological significance]. Vestn.Ross.Akad.Med Nauk 1995;(6):3-7. View abstract.
Boldyrev, A. A., Dupin, A. M., Bunin, A. Y., Babizhaev, M. A., and Severin, S. E. The antioxidative properties of carnosine, a natural histidine containing dipeptide. Biochem.Int. 1987;15(6):1105-1113. View abstract.
Boldyrev, A. and Abe, H. Metabolic transformation of neuropeptide carnosine modifies its biological activity. Cell Mol.Neurobiol. 1999;19(1):163-175. View abstract.
Bowen, W. J. Effects of pH, buffers, carnosine, histidine, and beta-alanine on the shortening of glycerol-treated muscle fibers. Arch.Biochem.Biophys. 1965;112(3):436-442. View abstract.
Burcham, P. C., Kaminskas, L. M., Fontaine, F. R., Petersen, D. R., and Pyke, S. M. Aldehyde-sequestering drugs: tools for studying protein damage by lipid peroxidation products. Toxicology 12-27-2002;181-182:229-236. View abstract.
Chez, M. G., Buchanan, C. P., Aimonovitch, M. C., Becker, M., Schaefer, K., Black, C., and Komen, J. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of L-carnosine supplementation in children with autistic spectrum disorders. J.Child Neurol. 2002;17(11):833-837. View abstract.
Cook, G. C. Impairment of jejunal absorption rate of carnosine by glycylglycine in man in vivo. Gut 1976;17(4):252-257. View abstract.
Dukic-Stefanovic, S., Schinzel, R., Riederer, P., and Munch, G. AGES in brain ageing: AGE-inhibitors as neuroprotective and anti-dementia drugs? Biogerontology. 2001;2(1):19-34. View abstract.
Flancbaum, L., Fitzpatrick, J. C., Brotman, D. N., Marcoux, A. M., Kasziba, E., and Fisher, H. The presence and significance of carnosine in histamine-containing tissues of several mammalian species. Agents Actions 1990;31(3-4):190-196. View abstract.
Guiotto, A., Calderan, A., Ruzza, P., and Borin, G. Carnosine and carnosine-related antioxidants: a review. Curr.Med Chem. 2005;12(20):2293-2315. View abstract.
Guo, Y. and Yan, H. [Preventive effect of carnosine on cataract development]. Yan.Ke.Xue.Bao. 2006;22(2):85-88. View abstract.
Harada, R., Taguchi, Y., Urashima, K., Sato, M., Ohmori, T., and Morimatsu, F. Enhancement of swimming endurance in mice by chicken breast extract. J.Jpn.Soc.Nurt.Sci. 2002;55:73-78.
Harris, R. C., Dunnett, M., and Greenhaff, P. L. Carnosine and taurine contents in individual fibres of human vastus lateralis muscle. J Sports Sci 1998;16:639-943.
Himukai, M. The characteristics of carnosine transport and carnosine-induced electrical phenomena by the everted intestine of guinea pig. Jpn J Physiol 1985;35(6):945-952. View abstract.
Hipkiss, A. R. and Brownson, C. Carnosine reacts with protein carbonyl groups: another possible role for the anti-ageing peptide? Biogerontology. 2000;1(3):217-223. View abstract.
Hipkiss, A. R., Brownson, C., Bertani, M. F., Ruiz, E., and Ferro, A. Reaction of carnosine with aged proteins: another protective process? Ann.N.Y.Acad.Sci. 2002;959:285-294. View abstract.
Jackson, M. C., Kucera, C. M., and Lenney, J. F. Purification and properties of human serum carnosinase. Clin.Chim.Acta 2-15-1991;196(2-3):193-205. View abstract.
Jakus, V. [The role of nonenzymatic glycation and glyco-oxidation in the development of diabetic vascular complications]. Cesk.Fysiol. 2003;52(2):51-65. View abstract.
Kraemer, W. J., Gordon, S. E., Lynch, J. M., Pop, M. E., and Clark, K. L. Effects of multibuffer supplementation on acid-base balance and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate following repetitive anaerobic exercise. Int J Sport Nutr. 1995;5(4):300-314. View abstract.
Lee, Y. T., Hsu, C. C., Lin, M. H., Liu, K. S., and Yin, M. C. Histidine and carnosine delay diabetic deterioration in mice and protect human low density lipoprotein against oxidation and glycation. Eur.J Pharmacol. 4-18-2005;513(1-2):145-150. View abstract.
Maichuk, IuF, Formaziuk, V. E., and Sergienko, V. I. [Development of carnosine eyedrops and assessing their efficacy in corneal diseases]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 1997;113(6):27-31. View abstract.
Matsukura, T. and Tanaka, H. Applicability of zinc complex of L-carnosine for medical use. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2000;65(7):817-823. View abstract.
Ozonoff, S., Strayer, D. L., McMahon, W. M., and Filloux, F. Executive function abilities in autism and Tourette syndrome: an information processing approach. J Child Psychol.Psychiatry 1994;35(6):1015-1032. View abstract.
Parkhouse, W. S., McKenzie, D. C., Hochachka, P. W., and Ovalle, W. K. Buffering capacity of deproteinized human vastus lateralis muscle. J Appl.Physiol 1985;58(1):14-17. View abstract.
Perry, T. L., Hansen, S., Tischler, B., Bunting, R., and Berry, K. Carnosinemia. A new metabolic disorder associated with neurologic disease and mental defect. N.Engl.J Med 12-7-1967;277(23):1219-1227. View abstract.
Petroff, O. A., Hyder, F., Rothman, D. L., and Mattson, R. H. Homocarnosine and seizure control in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and complex partial seizures. Neurology 3-27-2001;56(6):709-715. View abstract.
Quinn, P. J., Boldyrev, A. A., and Formazuyk, V. E. Carnosine: its properties, functions and potential therapeutic applications. Mol.Aspects Med. 1992;13(5):379-444. View abstract.
Reddy, V. P., Garrett, M. R., Perry, G., and Smith, M. A. Carnosine: a versatile antioxidant and antiglycating agent. Sci Aging Knowledge.Environ. 5-4-2005;2005(18):e12. View abstract.
Robertson, J. M., Donner, A. P., and Trevithick, J. R. A possible role for vitamins C and E in cataract prevention. Am.J Clin.Nutr. 1991;53(1 Suppl):346S-351S. View abstract.
Severina, I. S., Bussygina, O. G., and Pyatakova, N. V. Carnosine as a regulator of soluble guanylate cyclase. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2000;65(7):783-788. View abstract.
Shimizu, M. Food-derived peptides and intestinal functions. Biofactors 2004;21(1-4):43-47. View abstract.
Stvolinsky, S. L. and Dobrota, D. Anti-ischemic activity of carnosine. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2000;65(7):849-855. View abstract.
Sunderman, F. W., Jr. Nasal toxicity, carcinogenicity, and olfactory uptake of metals. Ann.Clin.Lab Sci 2001;31(1):3-24. View abstract.
Suzuki, Y., Ito, O., Mukai, N., Takahashi, H., and Takamatsu, K. High level of skeletal muscle carnosine contributes to the latter half of exercise performance during 30-s maximal cycle ergometer sprinting. Jpn.J.Physiol 2002;52(2):199-205. View abstract.
Suzuki, Y., Nakao, T., Maemura, H., Sato, M., Kamahara, K., Morimatsu, F., and Takamatsu, K. Carnosine and anserine ingestion enhances contribution of nonbicarbonate buffering. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(2):334-338. View abstract.
Takahashi, H. Studies on homocarnosine in cerebrospinal fluid in infancy and childhood. Part II. Homocarnosine levels in cerebrospinal fluid from children with epilepsy, febrile convulsion or meningitis. Brain Dev. 1981;3(3):263-270. View abstract.
Trombley, P. Q., Horning, M. S., and Blakemore, L. J. Carnosine modulates zinc and copper effects on amino acid receptors and synaptic transmission. Neuroreport 10-26-1998;9(15):3503-3507. View abstract.
Trombley, P. Q., Horning, M. S., and Blakemore, L. J. Interactions between carnosine and zinc and copper: implications for neuromodulation and neuroprotection. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2000;65(7):807-816. View abstract.
Volkov, O. A., Neshkova, G. A., Moshetova, L. K., and Iarovaia, G. A. [The effect of carnosine on inflammatory processes during contusion of the eyeball]. Biomed.Khim. 2006;52(2):188-191. View abstract.
Volkov, O. V. [Biological role of carnosine and its use in ophthalmology (mini-review)]. Biomed.Khim. 2005;51(5):481-484. View abstract.
Wang, A. M., Ma, C., Xie, Z. H., and Shen, F. Use of carnosine as a natural anti-senescence drug for human beings. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2000;65(7):869-871. View abstract.
Yoshioka, Y., Oikawa, H., Ehara, S., Inoue, T., Ogawa, A., Kanbara, Y., and Kubokawa, M. Noninvasive measurement of temperature and fractional dissociation of imidazole in human lower leg muscles using 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Appl.Physiol 2005;98(1):282-287. View abstract.
Zhu, Y. Y., Zhu-Ge, Z. B., Wu, D. C., Wang, S., Liu, L. Y., Ohtsu, H., and Chen, Z. Carnosine inhibits pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures by histaminergic mechanisms in histidine decarboxylase knock-out mice. Neurosci.Lett. 4-18-2007;416(3):211-216. View abstract.
Brownson C, Hipkiss AR. Carnosine reacts with a glycated protein. Free Radic Biol Med 2000;28:1564-1570.. View abstract.
Guliaeva NV. Superoxide-scavenging activity of carnosine in the presence of copper and zinc ions. Biokhimiia 1987;52:1216-1220.. View abstract.
Harris RC, Tallon MJ, Dunnett M, et al. The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids 2006;30:279-89. View abstract.
Hipkiss AR, Chana H. Carnosine protects proteins against methylglyoxal-mediated modifications. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1998;248:28-32. View abstract.
Hipkiss AR, Preston JE, Himswoth DT, et al. Protective effects of carnosine against malondialdehyde-induced toxicity towards cultured rat brain endothelial cells. Neurosci Lett 1997;238:135-8.. View abstract.
Hipkiss, A. R. Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies? Ann.N.Y.Acad.Sci 2006;1067:369-374. View abstract.
Horning MS, Blakemore LJ, Trombley PQ. Endogenous mechanisms of neuroprotection: role of zinc, copper, and carnosine. Brain Res 2000;852:56-61. View abstract.
Kantha SS, Wada S, Tanaka H, et al. Carnosine sustains the retention of cell morphology in continuous fibroblast culture subjected to nutritional insult. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1996;223:278-82. View abstract.
Maynard LM, Boissonneault GA, Chow CK, Bruckner GG. High levels of dietary carnosine are associated with increased concentrations of carnosine and histidine in rat soleus muscle. J Nutr 2001;131:287-90. View abstract.
Preston JE, Hipkiss AR, Himsworth DT, et al. Toxic effects of beta-amyloid(25-35) on immortalised rat brain endothelial cell: protection by carnosine, homocarnosine and beta-alanine. Neurosci Lett 1998;242:105-8.. View abstract.
Zaloga GP, Roberts PR, Black KW, et al. Carnosine is a novel peptide modulator of intracellular calcium and contractility in cardiac cells. Am J Physiol 1997;272:H462-8. View abstract.