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Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide made up of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is found both in food and in the human body. Long-lived cells such as nerve cells (neurons) and muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine.28 Muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the maximum life spans of animals. Carnosine is a naturally occurring antioxidant that has been shown to be an anti-glycating agent.29-35
This nutrient also has the ability to suppress advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species, a culprit in oxidative stress that can lead to age-related conditions.25 Carnosine levels decline with age. Muscle levels decline 63% from age 10 to age 70, which may account for the normal age-related decline in muscle mass and function.36
Since carnosine acts as a pH buffer, it can keep on protecting muscle cell membranes from oxidation under the acidic conditions of muscular exertion. Carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes.37
Aging causes irreversible damage to the body’s proteins. The underlying mechanism behind this damage is glycation. A simple definition of glycation is the cross-linking of proteins and sugars to form non-functioning structures in the body. The process of glycation can be superficially seen as unsightly wrinkled skin. Glycation is also an underlying cause of age-related neurologic, vascular, and eye problems.38-49 Carnosine is a unique dipeptide that interferes with the glycation process.29-35
Benfotiamine provides additional protection against glycation reactions while guarding cells against the toxic effects of chronic glucose exposure. Even people with normal glucose levels encounter damaging sugar reactions over a lifetime. Benfotiamine protects against glucose-induced cell damage via several mechanisms.50-53
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