The Natural Way

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Amino acids are important building blocks of the human body. Medical doctors are becoming increasingly aware of their importance, and they are therefore becoming more prominent in medical therapy. There is one amino acid which is particularly intriguing, namely l-carnosine.

Known for over 100 years, it wasn't thought about as an anti-aging supplement until about 10 years ago. It has been studied well during the last decade. It is found in abundance in muscle and brain tissue, and we know the concentration decreases with age. Being sure you get enough of this amino acid is a good thing.

Animals who suffer from cataracts were found to have low levels of carnosine in their lenses. When supplementation with carnosine was done, some had lower rates of cataracts -- does this translate to humans? Don't know for sure, but carnosine is considered safe, so it may be worth a try. Many claim carnosine boosts the immune system, and there is evidence for this, so here is a strong reason to supplement.

How about aging of the skin? Carnosine is known to extend the lifespan of healthy cells and one study showed a clear extension by more than 65 percent. Here is another feather in its cap. Should be less wrinkling if it truly does what it seems to do.

Another area which is very interesting is in the role of this amino acid preventing cellular dysfunction in the brain (Alzheimer's and memory loss?) by preventing oxidative damage. There is a lot of science behind carnosine's positive effects on the brain.

Carnosine seems quite safe, but according to William Campbell Douglas, MD, supplementing with doses over 100 mg per day ought to be done with your doctor's supervision. He also states daily supplementation of 50 mg per day is probably helpful. When taking an amino acid supplement, it is usually best to take it without food. Certain foods are rich in carnosine, such as eggs, fish, all types of meat, and milk.

Interesting isn't it!

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