Study under review: Effects of Carnosine Supplementation on Glucose Metabolism: Pilot Clinical Trial
Insulin is the principal hormone that stimulates glycogen synthesis in the liver and muscle, as well as increasing storage of energy as fat by taking up glucose from the blood. During the early stages of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance develops in peripheral tissues of the body, resulting in increased levels of glucose in the blood—hyperglycemia. By increasing insulin production, glucose levels are maintained. However, with time, increased insulin production can no longer compensate for insulin resistance and this will result in type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is a major risk factor for insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Although it is largely preventable, obesity-induced diabetes is projected to continue rising in the coming decades. Interventions are difficult to implement and require major changes to global public health policies. To counteract this, there are substantial efforts to develop nutritional therapies aimed at preventing obesity-induced type 2 diabetes.
Carnosine is a dipeptide (two amino acids linked together) present in most mammalian tissues. It is particularly concentrated in muscle. Carnosine is formed by carnosine synthase from the amino acids L-histidine and beta-alanine. Despite continued research, the exact functions of carnosine remain somewhat unknown. Recently, there have been several human clinical studies on carnosine supplementation that found significant beneficial effects for exercise physiology, improvement of cognition in schizophrenia, and enhanced quality of life in people with chronic heart failure.
There are also multiple animal studies on carnosine that suggest it may possess many other beneficial properties. These benefits include influencing glucose metabolism, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and preventing type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there’s been a lack of human trials to support these animal study observations. The current study seeks to determine if the promising results in animals might also hold up in humans.
Carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide found in several tissues but most notably in skeletal muscle. Carnosine supplementation has been claimed to have beneficial roles for exercise physiology, mental illness, cardiovascular disease, and several other age-related pathologies.
Other Articles in Issue #20 (June 2016)
D-fending against dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as eczema, isn’t an easily treatable condition. This systematic review looked at whether vitamin D supplementation may help reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis
Interview: Rick Miller, MSc, RD
Most cows provide milk that contains at least some of a protein called A1 betacasein. Rick explains the difference between A1 and A2 beta-casein, and what benefits may be associated with A2 milk.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be gluten intolerant
We’ve previously covered peanut introduction in infants, and next up is gluten introduction. These researchers analyzed the changing literature looking at celiac disease risk when gluten is introduced at different times.
Do probiotics alter gut microbiome composition?
Probiotic ads tout the number of live bacteria they contain, typically numbering in the billions. But our guts already contain trillions of bacteria. Do probiotics actually change the makeup of our microbiomes?
Fattening up breakfast for weight loss
Calories are the most important weight loss factor, but not the only one. It turns out that the type of fats you eat may impact your appetite, and this trial tested two fats (CLA and MCT) for that purpose.
Dead, yet active probiotics?
We know that the gut microbiome can play a major role in a variety of conditions, but the specifics are still being teased out. This study tested the effect of one particular strain called Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28, in a heatkilled formulation.
Coenzyme Q10 and chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a life-changing condition without many effective treatments. Could daily supplementation with coenzyme Q10 be a simple way to improve symptoms?
Can arachidonic acid work as a bodybuilding supplement?
There isn’t nearly as much research on potential benefits of omega-6 fatty acids as there is on omega-3s. This study looked at the effect of the omega-6 known as arachidonic acid on resistance exercise