What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Carnosine?

L-carnosine, not to be confused with L-carnitine , is a substance manufactured in the human body, made by combining the amino acids alanine and histidine. The highest levels of carnosine are found in the brain and nervous system, the lens of the eye, and skeletal muscle tissue. Its exact function in the body is not known.

Carnosine is widely marketed as an anti-aging nutrient. However, while there are a large number of studies that hint carnosine might help slow various aspects of aging, the quality of these studies is as yet far too low to provide any reliable evidence for benefit. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 There is some actual evidence that carnosine may be helpful for children with autistic spectrum disorders. 20 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 31 children with autism were given either carnosine (400 mg twice daily) or placebo for a period of 8 weeks. The results showed that children given carnosine showed significant improvements compared to those given placebo. While this was too small a trial to...

Safety Issues

The use of carnosine has not been associated with any significant side effects. However, the body deploys a range of enzymes, called carnosinases, to break down carnosine. Overwhelming them by providing large amounts of supplemental carnosine could conceivably cause harm in some yet unrecognized way. Maximum safe doses in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.