24-Week β-alanine ingestion does not affect muscle taurine or clinical blood parameters in healthy males
To investigate the effects of chronic beta-alanine (BA) supplementation on muscle taurine content, blood clinical markers and sensory side-effects.
Twenty-five healthy male participants (age 27 ± 4 years, height 1.75 ± 0.09 m, body mass 78.9 ± 11.7 kg) were supplemented with 6.4 g day−1 of sustained-release BA (N = 16; CarnoSyn™, NAI, USA) or placebo (PL; N = 9; maltodextrin) for 24 weeks. Resting muscle biopsies of the m. vastus lateralis were taken at 0, 12 and 24 weeks and analysed for taurine content (BA, N = 12; PL, N = 6) using high-performance liquid chromatography. Resting venous blood samples were taken every 4 weeks and analysed for markers of renal, hepatic and muscle function (BA, N = 15; PL, N = 8; aspartate transaminase; alanine aminotransferase; alkaline phosphatase; lactate dehydrogenase; albumin; globulin; creatinine; estimated glomerular filtration rate and creatine kinase).
There was a significant main effect of group (p = 0.04) on muscle taurine, with overall lower values in PL, although there was no main effect of time or interaction effect (both p > 0.05) and no differences between specific timepoints (week 0, BA: 33.67 ± 8.18 mmol kg−1 dm, PL: 27.75 ± 4.86 mmol kg−1 dm; week 12, BA: 35.93 ± 8.79 mmol kg−1 dm, PL: 27.67 ± 4.75 mmol kg−1 dm; week 24, BA: 35.42 ± 6.16 mmol kg−1 dm, PL: 31.99 ± 5.60 mmol kg−1 dm). There was no effect of treatment, time or any interaction effects on any blood marker (all p > 0.05) and no self-reported side-effects in these participants throughout the study.
The current study showed that 24 weeks of BA supplementation at 6.4 g day−1 did not significantly affect muscle taurine content, clinical markers of renal, hepatic and muscle function, nor did it result in chronic sensory side-effects, in healthy individuals. Since athletes are likely to engage in chronic supplementation, these data provide important evidence to suggest that supplementation with BA at these doses for up to 24 weeks is safe for healthy individuals.
KeywordsChronic beta-alanine supplementation Muscle taurine Clinical markers Safety Side-effects
The authors would like to thank National Alternatives International, San Marcos, California for providing the β-alanine (Carnosyn™) and maltodextrin supplements. Gratitude is extended to the participants who took part in the study for their time and dedication. We would also like to extend our thanks to Dr Miriam Sanz Roldán and Dr Felipe Augusto Dörr for their essential help with the HPLC method.
BS, CS, RCH, HR, GGA and BG designed the research question. BS, MF, LFO, VES, RPS, VSP and LARC conducted the research. HR, GGA and BG provided essential reagents, or provided essential materials. BS, MF, LFO, VES, RPS, VSP and LARC analysed the data or performed statistical analysis. BS, CS, RCH, HR, GGA and BG wrote the manuscript. BS had primary responsibility for final content. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Bryan Saunders (2016/50438-0 and 2017/04973-4), Mariana Franchi (2015/22686-7), Vitor de Salles Painelli (2013/04806-0), Rafael Pires da Silva (2012/13026-5), Guilherme Giannini Artioli (2014/11948-8) and Bruno Gualano (2013/14746-4) have been financially supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001. Bryan Saunders has previously received a scholarship Grant from National Alternatives International (NAI), San Marcos, California. Prior to his retirement from academia in 2009, Professor Roger Harris held research Grants for beta-alanine research in equines and humans from UK national funding bodies, as well as from NAI, in this case jointly with colleagues at the Korea National Sport University. Today, Professor Harris is a named inventor, along with other colleagues from these early studies, on patents owned by NAI describing methods to increase carnosine levels in muscle using beta-alanine supplements. Professor Harris provides services as an unpaid director to Junipa Ltd, a company supporting research and sponsoring conferences and for several years acted as an independent consultant to NAI and Nottingham Trent University (UK) in relation to beta-alanine research.
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