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When you don't eat meat, what are the roles of carnitine or carnosine?

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Are you using the supplement carnosine to build up your muscles for running or weight lifting? Carnosine is a dipeptide with a high concentration in mammalian skeletal muscle. It is synthesized by carnosine synthase from the amino acids L-histidine and beta-alanine, of which the latter is the rate-limiting precursor, and degraded by carnosinase, says the abstract of a recent study, "Muscle carnosine metabolism and beta-alanine supplementation in relation to exercise and training," published in the March 1, 2010 issue of the journal Sports Medicine. Authors of the study are Derave W, Everaert I, Beeckman S, and Baguet A.

The abstract of the study points out that recent studies have shown that the chronic oral ingestion of beta-alanine can substantially elevate (up to 80%) the carnosine content of human skeletal muscle. Interestingly, muscle carnosine loading leads to improved performance in high-intensity exercise in both untrained and trained individuals.

Although carnosine is not involved in the classic adenosine triphosphate-generating metabolic pathways, this suggests an important role of the dipeptide in the homeostasis of contracting muscle cells, especially during high rates of anaerobic energy delivery, notes the study's abstract. You also can check out the NIH site, What foods provide carnitine?

What's carnosine's role in the body?

Carnosine may attenuate acidosis by acting as a pH buffer, but improved contractile performance may also be obtained by improved excitation-contraction coupling and defence against reactive oxygen species. High carnosine concentrations are found in individuals with a high proportion of fast-twitch fibres, because these fibrers are enriched with the dipeptide.

Muscle carnosine content is lower in women, declines with age and is probably lower in vegetarians, whose diets are deprived of beta-alanine. Sprint-trained athletes display markedly high muscular carnosine. But the acute effect of several weeks of training on muscle carnosine is limited.

The research findings noted that high carnosine levels in elite sprinters are therefore either an important genetically determined talent selection criterion or a result of slow adaptation to years of training. beta-Alanine is rapidly developing as a popular ergogenic nutritional supplement for athletes worldwide, and the currently available scientific literature suggests that its use is evidence based. However, many aspects of the supplement, such as the potential side effects and the mechanism of action, require additional and thorough investigation by the sports science community.

What's the difference between carnosine and carnitine, L-carnitine, and Acetyl-L-carnitine?

Acetyl-L-carnitine is one of several forms of carnitine at work in your body. Other forms are L-carnitine and carnitine. Carnitines carry certain fatty acids to mitochondria to be burned as fuel, explains the article, "Acetyl-L Carnitine Overview," by Eleanor Duse. The different forms of carnitine also carry away the waste products of this process, that article explains. In a healthy body, the kidneys regulate the level of carnitine. For example, if you have too much, they get rid of what you don't need. If your diet is low in carnitine, the kidneys hang on to what you have, the article notes, giving the source of the information as the "Carnitine Fact Sheet for Health Professionals," at the NIH website. Check out the NIH websites on nutrition answers for more detailed information on carnitine.

Incidentally, if you need information on a variety of supplement ingredients such as carnitine, check out the fact sheets published by the National Institutes of Health. You can find excellent Frequently Asked Questions and other health information on a variety of topics. Also see, "My Dietary Supplements (MyDS) Mobile App."

The difference between carnosine and L-carnitine is that carnitine is a natural compound known for helping fatty acids enter the mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, where fatty acids are "burned" to give cells energy for their various tasks. You may wish to check out the articles, "How does Carnosine work? - MedicineNet ," "Carnosine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings," and "Carnosine: Exceeding Scientific Expectations – Life Extension." Or see, "Carnosine - What You Need to Know - Alternative Medicine."

Other noteworthy NIH sites are Human Performance Resource Center: Dietary Supplements (DoD) and How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers. You may wish to read various claims or, to use more neutral words, results of studies or research findings, about carnosine inhibiting the buildup of amyloid beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease), preventing diabetes-related nerve damage, and promoting vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels, a process essential to keeping blood pressure in check). You may wish to see the article, "Carnosine - What You Need to Know - Alternative Medicine."

Or you might check out the abstract of a study, "Muscle carnosine metabolism and beta-alanine." The abstract of that study notes that carnosine is a dipeptide with a high concentration in mammalian skeletal muscle. The study's published online in the March 1, 2010 issue of the journal Sports Medicine. Also see the NIH site, What are recommended intakes for carnitine?

Carnosine is synthesized by carnosine synthase from the amino acids L-histidine and beta-alanine, of which the latter is the rate-limiting precursor, and degraded by carnosinase. Recent studies have shown that the chronic oral ingestion of beta-alanine can substantially elevate (up to 80%) the carnosine content of human skeletal muscle. Interestingly, muscle carnosine loading leads to improved performance in high-intensity exercise in both untrained and trained individuals, explains that study's abstract.

Carnosine is a substance produced naturally by the body

Various news articles explain that carnosine is classified as a dipeptide (a compound made up of two linked amino acid molecules), carnosine is highly concentrated in muscle tissue and in the brain. A synthetic form of carnosine is sold in supplement form and touted as a natural remedy for a host of health conditions.

Research indicates that carnosine has powerful antioxidant properties. Carnosine also appears to fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. It's noteworthy to know the difference between carnitine and carnosine and how each work in the body.

Carnitine's role in the body

Carnitine also helps move excess fuel from cells into the circulating blood, which then redistributes this energy source to needier organs or to the kidneys for removal. These processes occur through the formation of acylcarnitine molecules, energy molecules that can cross membrane barriers that encase all cells. Carnosine provides energy to the human body. Latest studies show how carnosine shields the human body from oxidation, DNA damage, and glycation,

L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack, according to the study, "L-Carnitine in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," published online in April 2013 and in print the June 2013 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Results of systematic review of 13 controlled studies reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings Elsevier Health Sciences, were reported in that study, according to the April 12, 2013 news release, "L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack." And in another study, carnitine supplements reversed glucose intolerance in animals, according to the August 12, 2009 news release, "Carnitine supplements reverse glucose intolerance in animals."

L-carnitine significantly improves cardiac health in patients after a heart attack, say a multicenter team of investigators in a study published online April 12, 2013 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Their findings, based on analysis of key controlled trials, associate L-carnitine with significant reduction in death from all causes and a highly significant reduction in ventricular arrhythmias and anginal attacks following a heart attack, compared with placebo or control.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Although many of the therapies developed in recent decades have markedly improved life expectancy, adverse cardiovascular events such as ventricular arrhythmias and angina attacks still occur frequently after an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

It is known that during ischemic events L-carnitine levels are depleted

Investigators sought to determine the effects of targeting cardiac metabolic pathways using L-carnitine to improve free fatty acid levels and glucose oxidation in these patients. By performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available studies published over several decades, they looked at the role of L-carnitine compared with placebo or control in patients experiencing an acute myocardial infarction.

L-carnitine is a trimethylamine which occurs in high amounts in red meat and is found in certain other foods, and is also widely available as an over-the-counter nutritional supplement which is claimed to improve energy, weight loss, and athletic performance. Its potential role in treating heart disease was first reported in the late 1970s.

A comprehensive literature search yielded 153 studies, 13, published from 1989-2007, were deemed eligible. All the trials were comparison trials of L-carnitine compared with placebo or control in the setting of acute myocardial infarction. This systematic review of the 13 controlled trials in 3,629 patients, involving 250 deaths, 220 cases of new heart failure, and 38 recurrent heart attacks, found that L-carnitine was associated with:

  • Significant 27% reduction in all-cause mortality (number needed to treat 38)
  • Highly significant 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias (number needed to treat 4)
  • Significant 40% reduction in the development of angina (number needed to treat 3)
  • Reduction in infarct size

There were numerically fewer myocardial reinfarctions and heart failure cases associated with L-carnitine, but this did not reach statistical significance.

First author James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, Wegmans Pharmacy, Ithaca, NY, observes, according to the news release, L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack, that "Although therapies for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including percutaneous coronary intervention, dual antiplatelet therapy, b-blockers (BBs), statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiac rehabilitation, have markedly improved clinical outcomes, adverse cardiovascular (CV) events still occur too frequently after ACS. One promising therapy for improving cardiac health involves using L-carnitine to improve free fatty acid levels and glucose oxidation."

"The potential mechanisms responsible for the observed beneficial impact of L-carnitine in acute myocardial infarction are likely multifactorial and may, in part, be conferred through the ability of L-carnitine to improve mitochondrial energy metabolism in the heart by facilitating the transport of long-chain fatty acids from the cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix, where b-oxidation occurs, removing toxic fatty acid intermediates, reducing ischemia induced by long-chain fatty acid concentrations, and replenishing depleted carnitine concentrations seen in ischemic, infarcted, and failing myocardium," says DiNicolantonio, according to the news release, "L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack."

L-carnitine is proven to be safe and is readily available over the counter, explains the news release

The investigators agree that the overall results of this meta-analysis support the potential use of L-carnitine in acute myocardial infarction and possibly in secondary coronary prevention and treatment, including angina. They advocate for a larger randomized, multicenter trial to be performed to confirm these results in the modern era of routine revascularization and other intensive medical therapies following acute myocardial infarction. But, says DiNicolantonio, according to the news release, that "L-carnitine therapy can already be considered in selected patients with high-risk or persistent angina after acute myocardial infarction who cannot tolerate treatment with ACE inhibitors or beta blockers, considering its low cost and excellent safety profile."

These findings may seem to contradict those reported in a study, "Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis," published April 7, 2013 in the journal Nature Medicine by Robert A. Koeth and others (Koeth, R. A. et al. Nature Medicine, which demonstrated that metabolism by intestinal microbiota of dietary L-carnitine produced trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and accelerated atherosclerosis in mice. The researchers also noted that omnivorous human subjects produced more TMAO than did vegans or vegetarians following ingestion of L-carnitine, and suggested a possible direct link between L-carnitine, gut bacteria, TMAO, and atherosclerosis and risk of ischemic heart disease.

Intestinal microbiota metabolism of choline and phosphatidylcholine produces trimethylamine (TMA), which is further metabolized to a proatherogenic species, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). We demonstrate here that metabolism by intestinal microbiota of dietary l-carnitine, a trimethylamine abundant in red meat, also produces TMAO and accelerates atherosclerosis in mice, notes the abstract of that study. Omnivorous human subjects produced more TMAO than did vegans or vegetarians following ingestion of l-carnitine through a microbiota-dependent mechanism.

"The Nature Medicine paper is of interest," agrees senior investigator Carl J. Lavie, M.D.,FACC,FACP,FCCP, Medical Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Center at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute at the University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans. "But the main study reported there was in animals, and unlike our study, lacks hard outcomes." He also notes that "there are various forms of 'carnitine' and our relatively large meta-analysis specifically tested L-carnitine on hard outcomes in humans who had already experienced acute myocardial infarction."

Carnitine supplements reverse glucose intolerance in animals

Supplementing obese rats with the nutrient carnitine helps the animals to clear the extra sugar in their blood, something they had trouble doing on their own, researchers at Duke University Medical Center report. A team led by Deborah Muoio (Moo-ee-oo), Ph.D., of the Duke Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, also performed tests on human muscle cells that showed supplementing with carnitine might help older people with prediabetes, diabetes, and other disorders that make glucose (sugar) metabolism difficult.

Carnitine is made in the liver and recycled by the kidney, but in some cases when this is insufficient, dietary carnitine from red meat and other animal foods can compensate for the shortfall

After just eight weeks of supplementation with carnitine, the obese rats restored their cells' fuel- burning capacity (which was shut down by a lack of natural carnitine) and improved their glucose tolerance, a health outcome that indicates a lower risk of diabetes.

These results offer hope for a new therapeutic option for people with glucose intolerance, older people, people with kidney disease, and those with type 2 diabetes (what used to be called adult-onset diabetes).

Muoio said, according to an August 12, 2009 news release, "Carnitine supplements reverse glucose intolerance in animals," that her team of researchers are planning (at the date of the news release) a small clinical trial of carnitine supplementation in people who fit the profile of those who might benefit from additional carnitine – older people (60 to 80 years) with glucose intolerance. The study is published in the Aug. 21, 2009 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. See the study's abstract online, "Carnitine Insufficiency Caused by Aging and Overnutrition Compromises Mitochondrial Performance and Metabolic Control."

The Duke University Medical Center researchers began studying carnitine more closely when abnormalities in the nutrient emerged from blood chemistry profiles of obese and old animals

These chemical profiles report on hundreds of byproducts of cell metabolism called metabolites and give scientists an opportunity to identify markers of disease states. Carnitine is a natural compound known for helping fatty acids enter the mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, where fatty acids are "burned" to give cells energy for their various tasks.

Carnitine also helps move excess fuel from cells into the circulating blood, which then redistributes this energy source to needier organs or to the kidneys for removal. These processes occur through the formation of acylcarnitine molecules, energy molecules that can cross membrane barriers that encase all cells.

Researchers at Duke University had observed that skeletal muscle of obese rats produced high amounts of the acylcarnitines, which requires free carnitine

As these molecules started to accumulate, the availability of free, unprocessed carnitine decreased. This imbalance was linked to fuel-burning problems, that is, impairments in the cells' combustion of both fat and glucose fuel. "We suspected that persistent increases in acylcarnitines in the rats were causing problems, and we could also see that the availability of free carnitine was decreasing with weight gain and aging," said Muoio, according to an August 12, 2009 news release, Carnitine supplements reverse glucose intolerance in animals. "It appeared that carnitine could no longer do its job when chronic metabolic disruptions were stressing the system. That's when we designed an experiment to add extra carnitine to the rats' diet." Muoio (at the time of the news release) also is a professor in the departments of medicine, pharmacology and cancer biology.

Other study authors included Robert C. Noland, Sarah E. Seiler, Helen Lum, Olga Ilkayeva, Robert Stevens, and Timothy R. Koves of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center. Koves is also with the Duke Department of Medicine. Robert M. Lust is with the Department of Physiology at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and Fausto G. Hegardt is with the CIBER division Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Spain. Grants supporting the work came from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and a John A. Hartford Duke Center for Excellence Award.

What does carnosine do in the human body?

A list of 74 studies on carnosine is resourced in the footnotes of the June 2012 issue of Life Extension Magazine's article, "Carnosine: A Proven Longevity Factor." This article shows how carnosine has been shown to decrease mortality from strokes as well as mitigate the damaging effects of stroke on the brain itself. Carnosine’s effects are found most often in the heart and blood vessels.

Of the 74 medical and scientific articles with carnosine's health effects listed in the Life Extension Magazine article, you may wish to check out the study, "Anti-ischemic activity of carnosine," for example. Other studies with carnosine have been done with mice.

On one hand, there are 74 studies referenced in the footnotes that readers can look up online and at least read the abstract of the study to find the conclusions. On the other hand, if carnosine is a proven longevity factor, can it be consumed with food or with supplements, and are the supplements natural or synthetic? These questions are what most consumers would ask, since all the studies explored carnosine's role in providing energy.

Latest studies show how carnosine shields the human body from oxidation, DNA damage, and glycation, according to studies such as, "Vegetarianism, female gender and increasing age, but not CNDP1 genotype, are associated with reduced muscle carnosine levels in humans," "Carnosinase levels in aging brain: redox state induction and cellular stress response," and "Carnosine, the protective, anti-aging peptide."

The question is whether studies with mice can apply as well to humans when it comes to carnosine? In one study with mice, carnosine, administered before or after a stroke is induced, protects brain cells from the so-called ischemia-reperfusion injury that occurs when tissue is first deprived of oxygen and is then subjected to high oxygen levels when blood flow is restored.

In another study with mice, the carnosine given to the mice resulted in marked reduction in signs of oxidant damage to brain cells, and to a real and significant reduction in the size of the stroke area in the brain. But scientists first had to give mice a stroke to find out how carnosine protected the brain from the damage.

Another study or its abstract to look at is "Further evidence for the rejuvenating effects of the dipeptide L-carnosine on cultured human diploid fibroblasts." This study mentions human fibroblasts. Findings noted that carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide present at high concentration in a range of human tissues. Scientists in that study suggested it has an important role in cellular homeostasis and maintenance.

The Life Extension magazine article, "Carnosine: A Proven Longevity Factor." explained numerous findings of studies and suggested that a “carnosine deficiency” might be partly responsible for the visible aging and loss of function in a multitude of areas throughout the body that occurs as we get older. Now the question remains, that if aging causes a carnosine deficit, can supplementing with a small amount of carnosine slow down aging? Readers need to know how much is scientific fact and how much is marketing of carnosine.

Declining levels of carnosine in the aging body

Readers want a solution to the problem of carnosine levels in the body declining with age, leaving us, as the article, "Carnosine: A Proven Longevity Factor" notes: Vulnerable to loss of cognitive function, decreased mobility, loss of metabolic control, failing cardiovascular performance, and an increased susceptibility to cancer. The hypothesis is, if we could restore our bodies’ carnosine stores to their youthful levels, can we arrest part of the aging process?

One solution is to view the evidence of research that shows in the experiments with laboratory animals of different species, carnosine supplementation did extend the life spans of those animals. What researchers found in the studies about carnosine showed that carnosine did slow the aging of human cells in culture dishes in research such as the following studies (or the studies' abstracts) you can read online such as: "Retardation of the senescence of cultured human diploid fibroblasts by carnosine," and "Further evidence for the rejuvenating effects of the dipeptide L-carnosine on cultured human diploid fibroblasts."

What happened in another study, "Neuroprotective features of carnosine in oxidative driven diseases," is that researchers put the carnosine directly into cultures of young cells. That could be different outcome because when you swallow a carnosine capsule, your stomach acids would act on it first. The question is how much does your body absorb that is effective?

The experiment in the study, "Neuroprotective features of carnosine in oxidative driven diseases," focused on putting carnosine into a test tube or Petri dish of cultures of young human cells. What happened in the culture compared to the control cells is that the control cells began to show the typical “old” appearance.

Those cells grown in high carnosine concentrations retained their youthful appearance. So readers are still wondering whether the same affects would happen if the carnosine is taken orally and goes through the digestive process compared to carnosine being put onto cells in a laboratory test tube or Petri dish culture.

In the study, "Retardation of the senescence of cultured human diploid fibroblasts by carnosine," when the young cells were transferred to culture dishes lacking extra carnosine, they quickly developed the look or appearance of being “old” just like the control cells looked. Yet the control cells in the culture and the cells getting the carnosine were of the same age.

On the other hand, when scientists took old cells, approaching the limits of their life span, and transferred them into culture dishes containing high carnosine concentrations, researchers found that the cells rapidly became rejuvenated to resemble young cells. You can check out the study's abstract. See, "Retardation of the senescence of cultured human diploid fibroblasts by carnosine.

Carnosine and life extension research in some organisms

In another study, carnosine also extended the life span of a microscopic aquatic organism. But will it work with humans that way? The microscopic aquatic organisms used in that study were rotifers. You can check out that study, which is listed along with 74 other studies listed in the Life Extension Magazine article. Check out that study, "Antioxidants can extend lifespan of Brachionus manjavacas (Rotifera), but only in a few combinations."

The issue here is how would one know what combinations worked, and how would this work in humans taking oral capsules of carnosine in small amounts, such as the usual one capsule daily dose on the label of 500 mg.? This is where consumers need to understand where science can help and where marketing sometimes gets mixed with science.

It's a fine line to walk. In the Life Extension Magazine article, "Carnosine: A Proven Longevity Factor," there's also an article in the June 2012 issue featuring Suzanne Somers on the cover with an article "Suzanne Somers’s Quest to Educate the World About How to Delay Aging," where carnosine is mentioned as one of the suggested anti-aging supplements to help keep readers younger longer, among numerous other supplements.

A blurb on the Life Extension magazine's June 2012 cover reads, "Suzanne Somers, How She Grows Younger." Somers has written a new book, Bombshell: Explosive Medical Secrets That Will Redefine Aging.

In the past, Suzanne Somers has repeatedly opened up new terrain to health seekers worldwide. According to Somers' latest book's description, with her book Bombshell, she does it again. Acting like your personal medical detective, she has found the most advanced scientists, doctors, and health professionals and gotten them to share jaw-dropping advances that will stop deterioration and set readers on the path to restoration and healthy longevity.

In the Life Extension article featuring Suzanne Somers and research on finding anti-aging supplements that work for her, also bioidentical hormones are mentioned in that article along with supplements

If you check out the articles, notice that there's no warning that results may vary with individuals when it comes to delaying aging. Healthy foods are emphasized as well as supplements in the noteworthy article. Bioidentical hormones can become a controversial issue for some readers. The point is about the value of choice.

It's an individual choice since it requires a prescription and blood testing to find out what's right for you and what isn't working. Bio-identical, not synthetic hormones play a role in anti-aging medicine, but it's an individual choice depending on how your body responds to them. So blood testing is necessary to see what's happening to your body.

Another article in the Life Extension Magazine's June 2012 issue notes how taurine can help protect women against heart disease. See the article, "Taurine protects against coronary heart disease in women with high cholesterol," There's also reference to an article published in the European Journal of Nutrition, February 10, 2012.

Carnosine and longevity research

On the scientific research studies side of this equation, carnosine did extend the life span of fruit flies, which scientists use frequently for studies on aging. In that study male fruit flies fed a diet including a carnosine supplement attained the same age as female fruit flies. Now, normally, male fruit flies die sooner than female fruit files. In that study, the carnosine added to the fruit flies foods did help the males to live longer.

But carnosine did not extend the lifespan of the female fruit flies. Note that sometimes magazine articles leave out the negative news, that it didn't do much better with the female fruit flies, but emphasize the positive, that the males lived longer. It's important to know whether carnosine has an impact on human females, but there are no studies mentioned that separated the results of carnosine on male or female if there are any results of those types of tests.

There have been other studies in this field of life extension by researching various supplements. Also see the study, "Effect of Carnosine and Its Trolox-Modified Derivatives on Life Span of Drosphila melanogaster." In that study, however, the supplements mentioned in that research experiment increased the lifespan of male insects by 16% and also increased the lifespan of female insects, this time by 36%.

For example, that study did investigate the effect of antioxidants, i.e., carnosine and its Trolox- (water-soluble analog of alpha-tocopherol) acylated derivatives (S,S)-6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carbonyl-beta-alanyl-L-histidine (S,S-Trolox-carnosine, STC) and (R,S)-6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carbonyl-beta-alanyl-L-histidine (R,S-Trolox-carnosine, RTC) on the life span of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

The point is that the researchers added carnosine to the insect's foodstuff. The experiment was accompanied and followed by a 20% increase in the average life span of male insects, but it did not influence the average life span of female insects.

What happened when STC was added to the insect food? According to the study's abstract, at the same time, adding STC to foodstuff prolonged average longevity both in males (by 16%) and females (by 36%), but the addition of RTC to foodstuff had no influence upon the average life span of insects of either gender. Now the reader is left wondering what exactly was fed?

The compounds studied have previously been shown to protect neurons of the rat brain from oxidative stress in the descending order of efficiency: RTC > STC > carnosine. The finding obtained in the present study suggests another order of efficacy regarding the effect on life span in male insects: STC > carnosine > RTC (inefficient).

No correlation between antioxidant protection of rat neurons and the effect on life span of the fruit fly makes it possible to suppose the presence of additional cellular targets to be acted upon by exposure of D. melanogaster to these compounds. Check out studies such as, "Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide?" and "Carnosine, the protective, anti-aging peptide."

The study, "Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide?" Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1998, noted how carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has protective functions additional to anti-oxidant and free-radical scavenging roles. It extends cultured human fibroblast life-span, kills transformed cells, protects cells against aldehydes and an amyloid peptide fragment and inhibits, in vitro, protein glycation (formation of cross-links, carbonyl groups and AGEs) and DNA/protein cross-linking, according to that research. Carnosine is an aldehyde scavenger, a likely lipofuscin (age pigment) precursor and possible modulator of diabetic complications, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

And in the study, Carnosine, the protective, anti-aging peptide," Biosci Rep. 1999, scientists noted that carnosine attenuates (the act of thinning or weakening) the development of senile features when used as a supplement to a standard diet of senescence accelerated mice (SAM). The abstract of this study notes how carnosine's effect is apparent on physical and behavioral parameters and on average life span. Carnosine has a similar effect on mice of the control strain, but this is less pronounced due to the non-accelerated character of their senescence processes.

The conclusion, at least in the Life Extension Magazine article of these studies noted how carnosine extends the life span of laboratory mice, complex, warm-blooded mammals with many of the aging features common to humans

For most readers, it's a complicated issue to consider what will help to increase life span that's usually determined by genes more than lifestyle say some studies whereas other studies say lifestyle is more important than genes. See, Gene Sequence Determines Lifespan, How Fast We Age. Then again, there's an opposite view, Study Shows Lifestyle More Important Than Genes For Life.

Some people can eat one type of food and live a century or more, whereas another person eating the same food succumbs in early middle age from calcification of the arteries. The link between genes and lifespan usually is not questioned by physicians.

A small percentage of the global population can eat most any diet live their maximum lifespan due to specific combinations of genes

You can check out the website, Secrets of Aging, Long Life, Longevity Genes. Those fighting gene variants that shorten life are presently focusing on how to use certain foods to help make small LDL particles larger so that they won't clog the arteries with plaque. You also may wish to see the article, "How To Increase Ldl Particle Size."

To solve this issue, the Livestrong.com article suggests you not only increase your aerobic exercise activities but also eat less when it comes to simple sugars such as candy and alcohol. The article also suggests you eat more omega-3 fatty acids to increase your triglyceride (TG) levels because having triglycerice levels above 120 mg per deciliter increases the likelihood that you will develop more LDL-B and LDL-C.

On one hand, telomeres are shortened by chronic stress. On the other hand, aging causes a carnosine deficit

The question readers ask is what combination of foods, supplements, and lifestyle can override genes when it comes to living longer with a healthier quality of life? One solution is to find out the combination of foods that help fight chronic degenerative diseases of aging or at least postpone them. Lifestyle also is made up of situations and environments where you can maximize the ability to repair your DNA.

Consumers wonder whether they can do more than limit simple sugars and lower saturated fat intake when other articles say coconut oil, a saturated fat with medium chain triglycerides could increase HDL, the good cholesterol. If this is so, then why are there so many articles on obesity in Malaysia among people whose diet staple includes cooking foods in coconut milk? The Livestrong.com article also suggests you consume more monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil to decrease your LDL levels instead of eating saturated fats.

The Livestrong.com article also notes that it recommends that you keep your LDL levels less than 100 mg per deciliter. But the hidden problems when it comes to hardened arteries in addition to inflammation are the risk factors of hidden calcifications in coronary arteries, that is hidden plaque. And another risk factor for coronary problems is low magnesium levels and other nutrient deficiencies that have never been tested. Longevity also is associated with the length of telomeres, the longer the better. You also may wish to check out the abstract of another study, "Meat-metabolizing bacteria in atherosclerosis."

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