Carnosine- new help to regenerate cells and skin

Q: I have recently seen details of a new supplement called Carnosine which is supposed to regenerate skin. Please can you give me more details. Thanks.
Penny Drury, Streatham, London

A: Your body is made up of around three trillion cells, which constantly divide to make 200 billion new cells every day. In this way, every 72 hours you manufacture a new gut lining, every year you make a new liver and skeleton, and when you’re young, every 28 days your skin is replaced by fresh cells.  However, most cells have a limited capacity to keep dividing – and after 50- 70 divisions they stop – and enter a dormant state called senescence – which contributes to the ageing process. But scientists have shown that a combination of naturally occurring, non-toxic amino acids called Carnosine, found in organ meats and chicken, can reverse the signs of ageing in cells that are approaching senescence, which regenerates and extends cell life, inside and out.  This is exciting news, as carnosine can indeed help regenerate your skin and muscles.

During the fifties, Russian scientists found that long lived animals have high concentrations of carnosine in their muscles, and they began administering it to young animals – and waited. Once ‘aged’, the animals had younger looking skin, better muscle tone, faster wound healing, no cataracts, less plaque in their arteries, better brain function – and on average their life span was increased by 20%. Sounds fantastic, and yet scientists from Australia, Japan and America confirmed their findings and Carnosine is now taking America by storm.

Dr Marios Kyriazis, a gerontologist based in the UK says ‘Unless you eat large amounts of red meat, chicken or organ meats, levels of carnosine decrease with age. Our research has found that when patients take 50-100mg of carnosine daily, after a few months their skin looks younger and muscles are firmer. Some patients also report less grey hairs coming through. Of course I’ve been trying it. After 3 months and without changing my exercise regimen, my muscles definitely look more defined. But, I think it’s a mistake to treat any supplement as a single magic bullet, but as I don’t eat red meat, I shall continue to take carnosine. I shall also eat plenty of great skin foods – oily fish, organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds, organic walnut oil, lemons, figs, avocados, apples, oats, artichokes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes – and water – and suggest you might like to do the same.

Carnisone costs £24.95 for 90 capsules, available from health stores. Or read Carnosine & Other Elixirs of Youth by Dr Marios Kyriazis, Watkins Publishing.