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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 6;10(10):e0138707. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138707. eCollection 2015.

Muscle Carnosine Is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Humans.

Author information

1
Monash Centre for Health, Research and Implementation, School of Public health and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne, Australia.
2
Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.
3
Centre for Chronic Disease, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
4
Department of Radiology, University Hospital Bratislava, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.
5
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium.
6
Surgery Department, Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia.
7
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
8
Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia; Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Carnosine is a naturally present dipeptide abundant in skeletal muscle and an over-the counter food additive. Animal data suggest a role of carnosine supplementation in the prevention and treatment of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease but only limited human data exists.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Samples of vastus lateralis muscle were obtained by needle biopsy. We measured muscle carnosine levels (high-performance liquid chromatography), % body fat (bioimpedance), abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity (magnetic resonance imaging), insulin sensitivity (euglycaemic hyperinsulinemic clamp), resting energy expenditure (REE, indirect calorimetry), free-living ambulatory physical activity (accelerometers) and lipid profile in 36 sedentary non-vegetarian middle aged men (45±7 years) with varying degrees of adiposity and glucose tolerance. Muscle carnosine content was positively related to % body fat (r = 0.35, p = 0.04) and subcutaneous (r = 0.38, p = 0.02) but not visceral fat (r = 0.17, p = 0.33). Muscle carnosine content was inversely associated with insulin sensitivity (r = -0.44, p = 0.008), REE (r = -0.58, p<0.001) and HDL-cholesterol levels (r = -0.34, p = 0.048). Insulin sensitivity and physical activity were the best predictors of muscle carnosine content after adjustment for adiposity.

CONCLUSION:

Our data shows that higher carnosine content in human skeletal muscle is positively associated with insulin resistance and fasting metabolic preference for glucose. Moreover, it is negatively associated with HDL-cholesterol and basal energy expenditure. Intervention studies targeting insulin resistance, metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors are necessary to evaluate its putative role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PMID:
26439389
PMCID:
PMC4595442
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0138707
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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