Carnosine - Ageing and other Uses

Ageing and other Uses


Carnosine is a supplement that is significantly helping some people. A product called Carn-Aware contains carnosine in its formulation and has shown improvement in clinical studies. please research this in light of other measures you are doing to make sure it is right for your situation.

  • Epilepsy Abstract
  • Autism Abstract

Epilepsy Abstract
L-carnosine Therapy for Intractable Epilepsy in Childhood: Effect on EEG
Michael G. Chez, M.D., Cathleen p. Buchanan, ph.D., Jamie L. Komen, M.A.

Objective: L-Carnosine is an amino acid dipeptide that may indirectly affect the electrochemical process in the brain. MRI spectroscopy has recently demonstrated that brain homocarnosine levels may correlate with seizure control. Due to these findings, we decided to examine whether ingesting dietary carnosine would decrease spike and wave activity and improve seizure control both clinically (overt seizures) and physiologically (EEG) by raising homocarnosine levels in the brain.

Design/Methods : Seven children (3 female, 4 male; age range 2-12 years) meeting inclusion criteria were enrolled in a 10 week study, beginning with a baseline EEG reading. participants were then administered 400mg BID of powdered L-Carnosine for the 10 week time period and a final EEG was subsequently read by Dr. Chez.

Results : After 10 weeks of Carnosine therapy, 5 of the 7 participants documented improved EEG findings and all 7 children exhibited improvement in seizure frequency. While not formally evaluated, improvement in the domains of global cognition, behavior and language function was reported in all 7 participants. While these domains were not predicted to be affected by the L-Carnosine supplementation, they were elicited spontaneously via blinded therapists and family members.

Conslusions: L-Carnosine may be a useful add-on medication for intractable seizure disorders. Although, the exact mechanism is unknown, L-Carnosine is believed to bind with GABA to form homocarnosine in the brain and may also modulate copper and zinc influx into the neurons decreasing the after-discharges and spike-wave discharges associated with many seizure disorders. This may decrease the frequency of clinical seizures and, in some cases, improve EEG patterns.

Citation of published Abstract:
Chez, Michael G., Buchanan, Cathleen p., and Jamie Komen. L-Carnosine Therapy for Intractable Epilepsy in Childhood: Effect on EEG. Epilepsia 2002; 43(7): 65.

Autism Abstract

Double-Blind, placebo-controlled Study of L-Carnosine supplementation in children with autistic spectrum disorder
Michael G. Chez, M.D., Cathleen p. Buchanan, ph.D.,
Jamie L. Komen, M.A., Marina Becker, R.N.

Objective: L-Carnosine is an amino acid dipeptide that may enhance frontal lobe function. We therefore sought to investigate whether L-Carnosine supplementation for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) results in observable, objective changes in language and/or behavior in contrast to placebo.

Design/Methods: Thirty-one children (21 M, mean age= 7.45; range = 3.2-12.5 yrs )meeting inclusion criteria were enrolled in an 8 week blinded trial of either 400 mg BID powdered L-Carnosine or placebo. Children were assessed at a pediatric neurology clinic with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS), the Expressive and Receptive One-Word picture Vocabulary tests (E/ROWpVT), and biweekly parental Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI), at baseline and 8 week endpoint.

Results: Children who were on placebo (n=17) did not show statistically significant changes on any of the outcome measures. After 8 weeks on L-Carnosine, children (n=14) showed statistically significant improvements on the GARS total score, GARS Behavior, Socialization, and Communication subscales, and the ROWpVT (all ps<.05). EOWpVT and CARS showed trends in improvements, which were supported by parental CGI.

Conclusions: Oral supplementation with L-Carnosine resulted in demonstrable improvements in autistic behaviors as well as increases in language comprehension that reached statistical significance. Although the mechanism of action of the amino acid is not well understood, it is believed that it acts to modulate neurotransmission and affect metal ion transfer of zinc and copper in the entorhinal cortex. This may enhance neurological function or act in a neuroprotective fashion.
Note: seizures are associated with those with autism

Extending cell life span
In a remarkable series of experiments, scientists at an Australian research institute have shown that carnosine rejuvenates cells as they approach senescence (McFarland GA, 1999; McFarland GA, 1994). The scientists cultured human fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) from the lung and the foreskin. Fibroblasts that went through many rounds of division, known as late-passage cells, displayed a disorganized, irregular appearance before ceasing to divide. Fibroblasts cultured with carnosine lived longer, retaining youthful appearance and growth patterns.
What is most exciting is the ability of carnosine to reverse the signs of aging in cells approaching senescence. When the scientists transferred late-passage fibroblasts to a culture medium containing carnosine, they exhibited a rejuvenated appearance and often an enhanced capacity to divide. They again grew in the characteristic whorled growth patterns of young fibroblasts, and resumed a uniform appearance. But when they transferred the fibroblasts back to a medium lacking carnosine, the signs of senescence quickly reappeared.
The scientists switched late-passage fibroblasts back and forth several times between the culture media. They consistently observed that the carnosine culture medium restored the juvenile cell phenotype within days, whereas the standard culture medium brought back the senescent cell phenotype.
The Carnosine medium also increased life span, even for old cells. The number of pDs, or population doublings, provides a convenient measure of cell division. When late-passage lung fibroblasts at 55 pDs (population doublings) were transferred to the carnosine medium, they lived to 69 to 70 pDs, compared to 57 to 61 pDs for the fibroblasts that were not transferred. Moreover, the fibroblasts transferred to the carnosine medium attained a life span of 413 days, compared to 126 to 139 days for the control fibroblasts. Carnosine increased chronological life span more dramatically than pDs in the Australian series of experiments.
When cells in the carnosine medium eventually enter into cellular senescence, they nevertheless retain a normal or less senescent morphology. Carnosine's ability to retain or restore the juvenile phenotype suggests that it may help maintain cellular homeostasis.

Two Japanese studies demonstrate carnosine's ability to stabilize and protect cultured fibroblasts. The first study shows that carnosine stimulates a factor called vimentin that promotes robustness in cultured fibroblasts (Ikeda D et al., 1999). Vimentin is a structural protein that imparts strength and stability to fibroblasts and endothelial cells.

The second Japanese study showed that carnosine preserves the integrity of rat fibroblasts in a nutritionally deficient culture medium (Kantha SS et al., 1996). Fibroblasts grown in this culture medium lost their characteristic form after one week, while those grown in the carnosine supplemented culture retained their healthy appearance. After four weeks those fibroblasts grown in the carnosine medium retained cellular integrity, while the others were no longer viable.

The study also examined levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH dG), a marker of oxidative damage to DNA, in fibroblast cultures with and without carnosine. They found that carnosine significantly reduced 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels in fibroblasts after four weeks of continuous culture. DNA oxidation is thought to contribute importantly not only to cellular senescence, but also to carcinogenesis, and indeed 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine has been proposed as a marker for cancer risk (Kasai H, 1997).
Carnosine's revitalizing effects on cultured fibroblasts may explain why it improves post-surgical wound healing. Another Japanese study showed that carnosine enhances granulation, a healing process in which proliferating fibroblasts and blood vessels temporarily fill a tissue defect (Nagai K et al., 1986). A Brazilian study showed that granulation tissue developed and matured faster, with a higher level of collagen biosynthesis, in carnosine treated rats (Vizioli MR et al., 1983). The Japanese study also presented evidence that carnosine restores the body's regenerative potential suppressed by common drugs.

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