Skip to main content

Carnosine: from exercise performance to health

Abstract

Carnosine was first discovered in skeletal muscle, where its concentration is higher than in any other tissue. This, along with an understanding of its role as an intracellular pH buffer has made it a dipeptide of interest for the athletic population with its potential to increase high-intensity exercise performance and capacity. The ability to increase muscle carnosine levels via β-alanine supplementation has spawned a new area of research into its use as an ergogenic aid. The current evidence base relating to the use of β-alanine as an ergogenic aid is reviewed here, alongside our current thoughts on the potential mechanism(s) to support any effect. There is also some emerging evidence for a potential therapeutic role for carnosine, with this potential being, at least theoretically, shown in ageing, neurological diseases, diabetes and cancer. The currently available evidence to support this potential therapeutic role is also reviewed here, as are the potential limitations of its use for these purposes, which mainly focusses on issues surrounding carnosine bioavailability.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Abe H (2000) Role of histidine-related compounds as intracellular proton buffering constituents in vertebrate muscle. Biochemistry 65:757–765

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ahlborg B, Bergström J, Ekelund L, Guarnieri G, Harris RC, Hultman E, Nordesjö L (1972) Muscle metabolism during isometric exercise performed at constant force. J Appl Physiol 33:224–228

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Aldini G, Orioli M, Rossoni G, Savi F, Braidotti P, Vistoli G, Yeum KJ, Negrisoli G, Carini M (2011) The carbonyl scavenger carnosine ameliorates dyslipidaemia and renal function in Zucker obese rats. J Cell Mol Med 15:1339–1354

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allen DG, Lamb GD, Westerblad H (2008) Skeletal muscle fatigue: cellular mechanisms. Physiol Rev 88:287–332

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ansurudeen I, Sunkari VG, Grünler J, Peters V, Schmitt CP, Catrina SB, Brismar K, Forsberg EA (2012) Carnosine enhances diabetic wound healing in the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Amino Acids 43:127–134

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH (2010) Role of β-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42:1162–1173

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Asatoor AM, Baudoh JK, Lant AF, Milne MD, Navab F (1970) Intestinal absorption of carnosine and its constituent amino acids in man. Gut 11:250–254

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Babizhayev MA, Seguin MC, Gueyne J, Evstigneeva RP, Ageyeva EA, Zheltukhina GA (1994) l-Carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) and carcinine (beta-alanylhistamine) act as natural antioxidants with hydroxyl-radical-scavenging and lipid-peroxidase activities. Biochem J 304:509–516

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baguet A, Reyngoudt H, Pottier A, Everaert I, Callens S, Achten E, Derave W (2009) Carnosine loading and washout in human skeletal muscles. J Appl Physiol 106:837–842

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baguet A, Bourgois J, Vanhee L, Achten E, Derave W (2010) Important role of carnosine in rowing performance. J Appl Physiol 109:1096–1101

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baguet A, Everaert I, de Naeyer H, Reyngoudt H, Stegen S, Beeckman S, Achten E, Vanhee L, Volkaert A, Petrovic M, Taes Y, Derave W (2011) Effects of sprint training combined with vegetarian or mixed diet on muscle carnosine content and buffering capacity. Eur J Appl Physiol 111:2571–2580

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bate-Smith EC (1938) The buffering of muscle in rigor: protein, phosphate and carnosine. J Physiol 92:336–343

    Google Scholar 

  • Bellia F, Vecchio G, Rizzarelli E (2012) Carnosine derivatives: new multifunctional drug-like molecules. Amino Acids 43:153–163

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bellinger PM, Howe ST, Shing CM, Fell JW (2012) Effect of combined beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on cycling performance. Med Sci Sports Exer 44:1545–1551

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bogdanis GC, Nevill ME, Lakomy HKA, Boobis LH (1998) Power output and muscle metabolism during and following recovery from 10 and 20 s of maximal sprint exercise in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 163:261–272

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boldyrev AA (1992) Carnosine—biological role and potential applications in medicine. Biochemistry (Moscow) 57:898–904

    Google Scholar 

  • Boldyrev AA (1993) Does carnosine possess direct antioxidant activity. Int J Biochem 25:1101–1107

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boldyrev AA, Bulygina E, Leinsoo T (2003) Protection of neuronal cells against reactive oxygen species by carnosine and related compounds. Comp Biochem Physiol B 137:81–88

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Boldyrev A, Fedorova T, Stepanova M, Dobrotvorskaya I, Kozlova E, Boldanova N, Bagyeva G, Ivanova-Smolenskaya I, Illarioshkin S (2008) Carnosine increases efficiency of DOPA therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Rejuv Res 11:988–994

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chung W, Shaw G, Anderson ME, Pyne D, Saunders PU, Bishop DJ, Burke LM (2012) Effect of 10 week beta-Alanine supplementation on competition and training performance in elite swimmers. Nutrients 4:1441–1453

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Costill DL, Verstappen F, Kuipers H, Janssen E, Fink W (1984) Acid-base balance during repeated bouts of exercise: influence of HCO3. Int J Sports Med 5:228–231

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson R, Biasetti M, Messina S, Dominy J (2002) The cytoprotective role of taurine in exercise-induced muscle injury. Amino Acids 22:309–324

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Decombaz J, Beaumont M, Vuichoud J, Bouisset F, Stellingwerff T (2012) Effect of slow-release β-alanine tablets on absorption kinetics and paresthesia. Amino Acids 43:67–76

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • del Favero S, Roschel H, Solis MY, Hayashi AP, Artioli GG, Otaduy MC, Benatti FB, Harris RC, Wise JA, Leite CC, Pereira RM, de Sá-Pinto AL, Ohsawa M, Mutoh J, Asato M, Yamamoto S, Ono H, Hisa H, Kamei J (2012) Carnosine has antinociceptive properties in the inflammation-induced nociceptive response in mice. Eur J Pharmacol 682:56–61

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Derave W, Sale C (2012) Carnosine in exercise and disease: introduction to the International Congress held at Ghent University, Belgium, July 2011. Amino Acids 43:1–4

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Derave W, Ozdemir MS, Harris RC, Pottier A, Reyngoudt H, Koppo K, Wise JA, Achten E (2007) β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters. J Appl Physiol 103:1736–1743

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dobrota D, Fedorova T, Stvolinsky S, Babusikova E, Likavcanova K, Drgova A, Strapkova A, Boldyrev A (2005) Carnosine protects the brain of rats and Mongolian gerbils against ischemic injury: after-stroke-effect. Neurochem Res 30:1283–1288

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Donaldson SKB, Hermansen L (1978) Differential direct effects of H+ and Ca2+-activated force of skinned fibres from the soleus, cardiac, adductor magnus muscle of rabbits. Pflugers Arch 376:55–65

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drozak J, Veiga-da-Cunha M, Vertommen D, Stroobant V, Van Schaftingen E (2010) Molecular identification of carnosine synthase as ATP-grasp domain-containing protein 1 (ATPGD1). J Biol Chem 285:9346–9356

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ducker KJ, Dawson B, Wallman KE (2013) Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on 2000 m rowing ergometer performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab (in press)

  • Dutka TL, Lamb GD (2004) Effect of carnosine on excitation-contraction coupling in mechanically skinned rat skeletal muscle. J Muscle Res Cell Motil 25:203–213

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dutka TL, Lamboley CR, McKenna MJ, Murphy RM, Lamb GD (2012) Effects of carnosine on contractile apparatus Ca2+ sensitivity and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release in human skeletal muscle fibres. J Appl Physiol 112:728–736

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Everaert I, Mooyaart A, Baguet A, Zutinic A, Baelde H, Achten E, Taes Y, De Heer E, Derave W (2011) Vegetarianism, female gender and increasing age, but not CNDP1 genotype, are associated with reduced muscle carnosine levels in humans. Amino Acids 40:1221–1229

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Everaert I, Taes Y, De Heer E, Baelde H, Zutinic A, Yard B, Sauerhöfer S, Vanhee L, Delanghe J, Aldini G, Derave W (2012) Low plasma carnosinase activity promotes carnosinemia after carnosine ingestion in humans. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 302:F1537–F1544

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Everaert I, Stegen S, Venheel B, Taes Y, Derave W (2013) Effect of Beta-alanine and carnosine supplementation on muscle contractility in mice. Med Sci Sports Exerc 45:43–51

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fedorova TN, Belyaev MS, Trunova OA, Gnezditsky VV, Maximova MYu, Boldyrev AA (2008) Neuropeptide carnosine increases stability of lipoproteins and red blood cells as well as efficiency of immune competent system in patients with chronic discirculatory encephalopathy. Biol Membr 25:479–484

    Google Scholar 

  • Gardner MLG, Illingworth KM, Kelleher J, Wood D (1991) Intestinal absorption of the intact peptide carnosine in man, and comparison with intestinal permeability to lactulose. J Physiol (London) 439:411–422

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gaunitz F, Hipkiss AR (2012) Carnosine and cancer: a perspective. Amino Acids 43:135–142

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gualano B, Everaert I, Stegen S, Artioli GG, Taes Y, Roschel H, Achten E, Otaduy MC, Junior AH, Harris R, Derave W (2012) Reduced muscle carnosine content in type 2, but not in type 1 diabetic patients. Amino Acids 43:21–24

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gulewitsch WS, Amiradzhibi S (1900) Uber der carnosin, eine neue organische base des fleischextrakten. Ber Dtsch Chem Ges 33:1902–1903

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris RC, Hultman E, Nordesjo LO (1974) Glycogen, glycolytic intermediates and high energy phos-phates determined in biopsy samples of musculus quadri-ceps femoris in man at rest. Methods and variance of values. Scad J Clin Lab Invest 33:109–120

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris RC, Marlin DJ, Dunnett M, Snow DH, Hultman E (1990) Muscle buffering capacity and dipeptide content in the thoroughbred horse, greyhound dog and man. Comp Biochem Phys A 97:249–251

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris RC, Tallon MJ, Dunnett M, Boobis L, Coakley J, Kim HJ, Fallowfield JL, Hill CA, Sale C, Wise JA (2006) The absorption of orally supplied β-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids 30:279–289

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris RC, Wise JA, Price KA, Kim HJ, Kim CK, Sale C (2012) Determinants of muscle carnosine content. Amino Acids 43:5–12

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hayaishi O, Nishizuka Y, Tatibana M, Takeshita M, Kuno S (1961) Enzymatic studies on the metabolism of β-alanine. J Biol Chem 236:781–790

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hill CA, Harris RC, Kim HJ, Harris BD, Sale C, Boobis LH, Kim CK, Wise JA (2007) Influence of β-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity. Amino Acids 32:225–233

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hipkiss AR (2005) Could carnosine suppress zinc-mediated proteasome inhibition and neurodegeneration? Therapeutic potential of a non-toxic but non-patentable dipeptide. Biogerontology 6:147–149

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hipkiss AR (2006) Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies? Ann NY Acad Sci 1067:369–374

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hipkiss AR, Michaelis J, Syrris P (1995) Non-enzymatic glycosylation of the dipeptide l-carnosine, a potential anti-protein-cross-linking agent. FEBS Lett 371:81–85

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hipkiss AR, Brownson C, Carrier MJ (2001) Carnosine, the anti-ageing, anti-oxidant dipeptide, may react with protein carbonyl groups. Mech Ageing Dev 15:1431–1445

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C (2012) Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a review by meta-analysis. Amino Acids 43:25–37

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J (2006) Effect of creatine and β-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metabol 16:430–446

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Faigenbaum AD, Ross R, Kang J, Stout JR, Wise JA (2008a) Short-duration β-alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players. Nut Res 28:31–35

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Ross R, Kang J, Magrelli J, Neese K, Faigenbaum AD, Wise JA (2008b) β-Alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med 29:952–958

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jagim AR, Wright GA, Brice AG, Doberstein ST (2013) Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on sprint endurance. J Strength Cond Res 27:526–532

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Janssen B, Hohenadel D, Brinkkoetter P, Peters V, Rind N, Fischer C, Rychlik I, Cerna M, Romzova M, de Heer E, Baelde H, Bakker SJ, Zirie M, Rondeau E, Mathieson P, Saleem MA, Meyer J, Köppel H, Sauerhoefer S, Bartram CR, Nawroth P, Hammes HP, Yard BA, Zschocke J, van der Woude FJ (2005) Carnosine as a protective factor in diabetic nephropathy: association with a leucine repeat of the carnosinase gene CNDP1. Diabetes 54:2320–2327

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jordan T, Lukaszuk J, Misic M, Umoren J (2010) Effect of beta-alanine supplementation in the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) during treadmill running: pre/post 3 treatment experimental design. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7:20

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kendrick IP, Harris RC, Kim HJ, Kim CK, Dang VH, Lam TQ, Bui TT, Smith M, Wise JA (2008) The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with β-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids 34:547–554

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kendrick IP, Kim HJ, Harris RC, Kim CK, Dang VH, Lam TQ, Bui TT, Wise JA (2009) The effect of 4 weeks β-alanine supplementation and isokinetic training on carnosine concentrations in type I and II human skeletal muscle fibres. Eur J Appl Physiol 106:131–138

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kern BD, Robinson TL (2011) Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. J Strength Cond Res 25:1804–1815

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim HJ (2009) Comparison of the carnosine and taurine contents of vastus lateralis of elderly Korean males, with impaired glucose tolerance, and young elite Korean swimmers. Amino Acids 36:359–363

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mannion AF, Jakeman PM, Willan PLT (1994) Effects of isokinetic training of the knee extensors on high-intensity exercise performance and skeletal muscle buffering. Eur J Appl Physiol 68:356–361

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mannion AF, Jakeman PM, Willan PL (1995) Skeletal muscle buffer value, fibre type distribution and high intensity exercise performance in man. Exp Physiol 80:89–101

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mohr M, Nordsborg N, Nielsen JJ, Pedersen LD, Fischer C, Krustrup P, Bangsbo J (2004) Potassium kinetics in human muscle interstitium during repeated intense exercise in relation to fatigue. Pflügers Archiv 448:452–456

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nagai K, Suda T (1986) Antineoplastic effects of carnosine and beta alanine—physiological considerations of its antineoplastic effects. J Physiol Soc Jpn 48:741–747

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ohsawa M, Mutoh J, Asato M, Yamamoto S, Ono H, Hisa H, Kamei J (2012) Carnosine has antinociceptive properties in the inflammation-induced nociceptive response in mice. Eur J Pharmacol 682:56–61

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Overgaard K, Højfeldt GW, Nielsen OB (2010) Effects of acidification and increased extracellular potassium on dynamic muscle contractions in isolated rat muscles. J Physiol 588:5065–5076

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Painelli V, Roschel H, de Jesus F, Sale C, Harris RC, Galves VF, de Oliveira N, do Carmo CA, Solis MY, Benatti FB, Gualano B, Lancha AH, Artioli GG (2013) Effects of β-alanine combined with sodium bicarbonate on swimming performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab (in press)

  • Pan JW, Hamm JR, Hetherington HP, Rothman DL, Shulman RG (1991) Correlation of lactate and pH in human skeletal muscle after exercise by 1H NMR. Magnet Reson Med 20:57–65

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Park YJ, Volpe SL, Decker EA (2005) Quantitation of carnosine in human plasma after dietary consumption of beef. J Agric Food Chem 53:4736–4739

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parkhouse WS, McKenzie DC, Hochachka PW, Ovalle WK (1985) Buffering capacity of deproteinized human vastus lateralis muscle. J Appl Physiol 58:14–17

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Perry TL, Kish SJ, Sjaastad O, Gjessing LR, Nesbakken R, Schrader H, Laken AC (1979) Homocarnosinosis: increased content of homocarnosine and deficiency of homocarnosinase in brain. J Neurochem 32:1637–1640

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perry TL, Hansen S, Gandham SS (1981) Postmortem changes of amino compounds in human and rat brain. J Neurochem 36:406–412

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Preston JE, Hipkiss AR, Himsworth DJT (1998) Toxic effects of β-amyloid (25–35) on immortalised rat brain endothelial cells: protection by carnosine, homocarnosine and β-alanine. Neurosci Lett 242:105–108

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reid MB (2001) Redox regulation of skeletal muscle contraction. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:371–376

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Renner C, Seyffarth A, de Arriba S, Meixensberger J, Gebhardt R, Gaunitz F (2008) Carnosine inhibits growth of cells isolated from human glioblastoma multiforme. Int J Pept Res Ther 14:127–135

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Renner C, Zemitzsch N, Fuchs B, Geiger KD, Hermes M, Hengstler J, Gebhardt R, Meixensberger J, Gaunitz F (2010a) Carnosine retards tumor growth in vivo in an NIH3T3-HER2/neu mouse. Mol Cancer 9:2

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Renner C, Asperger A, Seyffarth A, Meixensberger J, Gebhardt R, Gaunitz F (2010b) Carnosine inhibits ATP production in cells from malignant glioma. Neurol Res 32:101–105

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Riedl E, Koeppel H, Brinkkoetter P, Sternik P, Steinbeisser H, Sauerhoefer S, Janssen B, van der Woude FJ, Yard BA (2007) A CTG polymorphism in the CNDP1 gene determines the secretion of serum carnosinase in Cos-7 transfected cells. Diabetes 56:2410–2413

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rothman DL, Behar KL, Prichard JW, Petroff OAC (1997) Homocarnosine and the measurement of neuronal pH in patients with epilepsy. MRM 32:924–929

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadikali F, Darwish R, Watson WC (1975) Carnosinase activity of human gastrointestinal mucosa. Gut 16:585–589

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sale C, Saunders B, Harris RC (2010) Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino Acids 39:321–333

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sale C, Saunders B, Hudson S, Wise JA, Harris RC, Sunderland CD (2011) Effect of β-alanine plus sodium bicarbonate on high-intensity cycling capacity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 43:1972–1978

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sale C, Hill CA, Ponte J, Harris RC (2012) Beta-alanine supplementation improves isometric endurance of the knee extensor muscles. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 9:26

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saunders B, Sunderland C, Harris RC, Sale C (2012a) β-Alanine supplementation improves YoYo intermittent recovery test performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 9:39

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saunders B, Sale C, Harris RC, Sunderland C (2012b) Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on repeated sprint performance during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test. Amino Acids 43:39–47

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saunders B, Sale C, Harris RC, Sunderland C (2013) The reliability of a high-intensity cycling capacity test. J Sci Med Sport. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.07.004

  • Shi Q, Yan H, Li MY, Harding JJ (2009) Effect of a combination of carnosine and aspirin eye drops on streptozotocin-induced diabetic cataract in rats. Mol Vis 15:2129–2138

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shu C, Shen H, Teuscher NS, Lorenzi PJ, Keep RF, Smith DE (2002) Role of PEPT2 in peptide/mimetic trafficking at the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: studies in rat choroid plexus epithelial cells in primary culture. J Pharm Exp Ther 301:820–829

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith AE, Walter AA, Graef JL, Kendall KL, Moon JR, Lockwood CM, Fukuda DH, Beck TW, Cramer JT, Stout JR (2009a) Effects of β-alanine supplementation and high intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double blind trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 6:5

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Smith AE, Moon JR, Kendall KL, Graef JL, Lockwood CM, Walter AA, Beck TW, Cramer JT, Stout JR (2009b) The effect of β-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on neuromuscular fatigue and muscle function. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:357–363

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith AE, Stout JR, Kendall KL, Fukuda DH, Cramer JT (2012) Exercise-induced oxidative stress: the effects of beta-alanine supplementation in women. Amino Acids 43:77–90

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith-Ryan AE, Fukuda DH, Stout JR, Kendall KL (2012) High-velocity intermittent running: effects of beta-alanine supplementation. J Strength Cond Res 26:2798–2805

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stellingwerff T, Maughan RJ, Burke LM (2011) Nutrition for power sports: middle distance running, track cycling, rowing, canoeing/kayaking, and swimming. J Sport Sci 29:S79–S89

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stellingwerff T, Decombaz J, Harris RC, Boesch C (2012) Optimizing human in vivo dosing and delivery of beta-alanine supplements for muscle carnosine synthesis. Amino Acids 43:57–65

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stout JR, Cramer JT, Mielke M, O’Kroy J, Torok DJ, Zoeller RF (2006) Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold. J Strength Cond Res 20:928–931

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stout JR, Cramer JT, Zoeller RF, Torok DJ, Costa P, Hoffman JR, Harris RC, O’Kroy J (2007) Effects of β-alanine supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and ventilator threshold in women. Amino Acids 32:381–386

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stout JR, Graves BS, Smith AE, Hartman MJ, Cramer JT, Beck TW, Harris RC (2008) The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55–92 years): a double-blind randomized study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 5:21

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sweeney KM, Wright GA, Brice AG, Doberstein ST (2010) The effects of β-alanine supplementation on power performance during repeated sprint activity. J Strength Cond Res 24:79–87

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tallon MJ, Harris RC, Maffulli N, Tarnopolsky MA (2007) Carnosine, taurine and enzyme activities of human skeletal muscle fibres from elderly subjects with osteoarthritis and young moderately active subjects. Biogerontology 8:129–137

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tiedje KE, Stevens K, Barnes S, Weaver DF (2010) β-Alanine as a small molecule neurotransmitter. Neurochem Int 57:177–188

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • van Thienen R, van Proeyen K, Vanden Eynde B, Puype J, Lefere T, Hespel P (2009) β-Alanine improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:898–903

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Walter AA, Smith AE, Kendall KL, Stout JR, Cramer JT (2010) Six weeks of high-intensity interval training with and without β-alanine supplementation for improving cardiovascular fitness in women. J Strength Cond Res 24:1199–1207

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang H, Fei YJ, Ganapathy V, Leibach FH (1998) Electrophysiological characteristics of the proton-coupled peptide transporter PEPT2 cloned from rat brain. Am J Physiol 275:C967–C975

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Weston AR, Myburgh KH, Lindsay FH, Dennis SC, Noakes TD, Hawley JA (1997) Skeletal muscle buffering capacity and endurance performance after high-intensity interval training by well-trained cyclists. Eur J Appl Physiol 75:7–13

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yeum KJ, Orioli M, Regazzoni L, Carini M, Rasmussen H, Russell RM, Aldini G (2009) Profiling histidine dipeptides in plasma and urine after ingesting beef, chicken or chicken broth in humans. Amino Acids 38:847–858

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yuneva MO, Bulygina ER, Gallant SC, Kramarenko GG, Stvolinsky SL, Semyonova ML, Boldyrev AA (1999) Effect of carnosine on age-induced changes in senescence-accelerated mice. J Anti-Aging Med 2:337–342

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yuneva AO, Kramarenko GG, Vetreshchak TV, Gallant S, Boldyrev AA (2002) Effect of carnosine on Drosophila melanogaster life span. Bull Exp Biol Med 133:559–661

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zoeller RF, Stout JR, O’Kroy J, Torok D, Mielke M (2007) Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on aerobic power, ventilator and lactate thresholds and time to exhaustion. Amino Acids 33:505–510

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Craig Sale.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sale, C., Artioli, G.G., Gualano, B. et al. Carnosine: from exercise performance to health. Amino Acids 44, 1477–1491 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-013-1476-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-013-1476-2

Keywords

  • ß-alanine
  • Carnosine
  • Exercise performance
  • Health