Which foods contain carnosine?

Written by meaghan ringwelski
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Carnosine--otherwise known as l-carnosine--is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body. Carnosine is an antioxidant that is thought to help boost energy and help strengthen the body's muscles. Carnosine supplements are very popular; however, carnosine can be found in all protein foods.

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Theories/Speculation

L-carnosine has been used for many years as an energy enhancer, particularly among athletes. Its properties as an antioxidant are believed to be effective in fighting various kinds of cancer. Recently, carnosine has been turned to as an anti-ageing ingredient; people frequently look for foods containing carnosine in order to take advantage of the health benefits it offers.

Considerations

Carnosine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is particularly abundant in young people. As people age, the level of carnosine in their bodies tends to decrease. People who don't consume enough protein in their daily diet run a higher risk of having insufficient levels of carnosine in their body. Therefore, the elderly and people with limited sources of protein in their diet should work to consume more carnosine-rich foods.

Function

Carnosine is primarily found in the muscles, brain and other nervous system tissues of the human body. It's believed to protect and stabilise cell membranes within the body. Carnosine also appears to protect various kinds of tissues as well, making it a very integral part of a healthy body.

Food Sources

Carnosine is very abundant in protein-rich foods. Some common examples of such foods include milks, eggs and cheese. However, the best food sources of carnosine include beef, poultry and pork products. People who want to increase their carnosine consumption should focus on eating more food from these categories.

Supplements

People who may not have enough protein-rich foods in their regular diets--such as vegetarians--often need to take dietary supplements in order to achieve adequate levels of carnosine on a regular basis. Although many protein foods contain carnosine, a strict vegetarian diet might make eating such foods impossible. In such cases, a person should find a supplementary source of carnosine.

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