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Adv Food Nutr Res. 2009;57:87-154. doi: 10.1016/S1043-4526(09)57003-9.

Carnosine and its possible roles in nutrition and health.

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  • 1School of Clinicial and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, The Univeristy of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

The dipeptide carnosine has been observed to exert antiaging activity at cellular and whole animal levels. This review discusses the possible mechanisms by which carnosine may exert antiaging action and considers whether the dipeptide could be beneficial to humans. Carnosine's possible biological activities include scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), chelator of zinc and copper ions, and antiglycating and anticross-linking activities. Carnosine's ability to react with deleterious aldehydes such as malondialdehyde, methylglyoxal, hydroxynonenal, and acetaldehyde may also contribute to its protective functions. Physiologically carnosine may help to suppress some secondary complications of diabetes, and the deleterious consequences of ischemic-reperfusion injury, most likely due to antioxidation and carbonyl-scavenging functions. Other, and much more speculative, possible functions of carnosine considered include transglutaminase inhibition, stimulation of proteolysis mediated via effects on proteasome activity or induction of protease and stress-protein gene expression, upregulation of corticosteroid synthesis, stimulation of protein repair, and effects on ADP-ribose metabolism associated with sirtuin and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) activities. Evidence for carnosine's possible protective action against secondary diabetic complications, neurodegeneration, cancer, and other age-related pathologies is briefly discussed.

PMID:
19595386
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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