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Amino Acids. 2010 Mar;38(3):847-58. doi: 10.1007/s00726-009-0291-2. Epub 2009 Apr 19.

Profiling histidine dipeptides in plasma and urine after ingesting beef, chicken or chicken broth in humans.

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  • 1Jean Mayer USDA, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, 711 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111, USA.


The in vitro metabolic stability of histidine-dipeptides (HD), carnosine (CAR) and anserine (ANS), in human serum, and their absorption kinetics after ingesting pure carnosine or HD rich foods in humans have been investigated. Healthy women (n = 4) went through four phases of taking one dose of either 450 mg of pure carnosine, 150 g beef (B), 150 g chicken (C), or chicken broth (CB) from 150 g chicken with a >2-week washout period between each phase. Blood samples were collected at 0, 30, 60, 100, 180, 240, and 300 min, and urine samples before and after (up to 7 h) ingesting pure carnosine or food. Both plasma and urine samples were analyzed for HD concentrations using a sensitive and selective LC-ESI-MS/MS method. CAR was undetectable in plasma after ingesting pure carnosine, B, C or CB. By contrast, plasma ANS concentration was significantly increased (P < 0.05) after ingesting C or CB, respectively. Urinary concentrations of both CAR and ANS were 13- to 14-fold increased after ingesting B, and 14.8- and 243-fold after CB ingestion, respectively. Thus, dietary HD, which are rapidly hydrolyzed by carnosinase in plasma, and excreted in urine, may act as reactive carbonyl species sequestering agents.

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