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The absorption of orally supplied β-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis


β-Alanine in blood-plasma when administered as A) histidine dipeptides (equivalent to 40 mg · kg−1 bwt of β-alanine) in chicken broth, or B) 10, C) 20 and D) 40 mg · kg−1 bwt β-alanine (CarnoSyn™, NAI, USA), peaked at 428 ± SE 66, 47 ± 13, 374 ± 68 and 833 ± 43 µM. Concentrations regained baseline at 2 h. Carnosine was not detected in plasma with A) although traces of this and anserine were found in urine. Loss of β-alanine in urine with B) to D) was <5%. Plasma taurine was increased by β-alanine ingestion but this did not result in any increased loss via urine. Pharmacodynamics were further investigated with 3 × B) per day given for 15 d. Dietary supplementation with I) 3.2 and II) 6.4 g · d−1 β-alanine (as multiple doses of 400 or 800 mg) or III) L-carnosine (isomolar to II) for 4 w resulted in significant increases in muscle carnosine estimated at 42.1, 64.2 and 65.8%.

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Harris, R., Tallon, M., Dunnett, M. et al. The absorption of orally supplied β-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids 30, 279–289 (2006).

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  • Keywords: Carnosine – β-Alanine – Muscle – Buffering – Intracellular pH