No 1 Carnosine
You may not have heard of Carnosine, but it is set
to become one of the most important new anti-ageing supplements on the market. Carnosine
itself is not new. It is an amino acid which has been identified for over 100 years,
occurring naturally in the body. However, its specific anti-ageing properties have only
become clear during the past few years.
Carnosine (not to be
confused with a product called Carnitine) is a combination of two amino acids
(building blocks of proteins), alanine and histidine. It is naturally present in tissues
like muscle and brain, but its concentration falls with advancing age.
As an anti-ageing agent, Carnosine works in several ways.
Firstly, it is an antioxidant,
protecting our cells from free radical damage. Used together with vitamin E and other
antioxidants, it has an optimum effect.
· Secondly, it reduces the
destruction of valuable proteins and DNA by sugar molecules, a process known as
glycosylation. The significance of this process has only recently been appreciated.
Abnormal combinations of sugar and proteins are very toxic, contributing to several
age-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers dementia
and skin ageing. Carnosine helps prevent damage from glycosylation, ridding the system of
any abnormal substances and leaving it free to function optimally.
Thirdly, it is a toxic metal
binder - it reacts with toxic by-products of our metabolism and eliminates them from the
body. It stabilises the cells, making them more resistant to injury, and boosts the immune
Interest in Carnosine has increased mainly during
the last five years. In America and the UK,
anti-ageing specialists and nutritionist are recommending it as a valuable supplement.
There are no known side effects or incompatibility with other drugs.
Officially licensed in
Russia for use as eye drops in treating several eye diseases, it is also used there for
the prevention and treatment of cataract. In experiments it was shown to be effective in
reversing the symptoms of cataract in almost 100% of the patients. The eye drops will soon
be available in the West.
In the meantime,
Carnosine exists in capsule form to be used as a general anti-ageing booster. Normal dose
is 50 mg -100 mg a day, but some researchers support its use of up to 1000 mg a day. No
side effects are reported, and it can be used together with other supplements such as
coenzyme Q10, DHEA and ginkgo biloba (which will be discussed in future features in
Carnosine is available
from the Nutricentre, tel 0207 436 5122 7 Park Crescent, London
W1N 2HE www.nutricentre.com and from the British Longevity Society (address
below). Cost is £17-£20 for 1 - 2 months
British Longevity Society
Kyriazis book The Anti-Aging Plan
contains extensive information on ageing and age-related diseases, including conventional
and complementary treatments, nutrition, brain exercises. It
is available from Amazon by clicking on the cover opposite or you can order it from the
British Longevity Society, P.O.Box 71, Northampton, NN1 5HJ. Price is £11 including
NB laterlife.com does not necessarily endorse
supplements and products that appear on the website. If you are interested in Carnosine,
we suggest you discuss it with your GP or nutritionist or an anti-ageing specialist.