Carnosine is a protein building block that is naturally produced in the body. It is found in muscles when they are working, and it is also found in the heart, brain, and many other parts of the body.

Carnosine is used by mouth to prevent signs of aging, for diabetes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Carnosine is important for many normal body functions including the proper function and development of the muscles, heart, liver, kidneys, brain, and many other organs. There is some interest in using carnosine to prevent aging because it seems to interfere with certain chemicals that might play a role in the aging process.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Autism. Early research shows that taking L-carnosine by mouth for 8 weeks may improve symptoms in children with autism. But not all research agrees.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking L-carnosine with the antidepressantcitalopram for 6 weeks may improve symptoms of depression better than citalopram alone in people with depression.
  • Diabetes. Early research shows that taking carnosine for up to 12 weeks might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • Heart failure. Taking carnosine by mouth for 6 months might help people with heart failure walk farther by helping the body take in more oxygen. This might also make people feel happier.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Early research shows that carnosine does not seem to improve levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood in people with diabetes, prediabetes, or obesity. It isn't clear if carnosine can improve cholesterol levels in people with hyperlipidemia.
  • A group of symptoms experienced by people fighting in the Gulf War (Gulf War illness). Taking carnosine along with other medicine by mouth does not improve most symptoms of this disease, like tiredness and pain. However, it might improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as diarrhea. Also, it might help memory by a small amount.
  • A type of anxiety marked by recurrent thoughts and repetitive behaviors (obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD). Early research shows that taking carnosine twice daily by mouth for 10 weeks with the prescription drug fluvoxamine might reduce symptoms of repetition by a small amount in people with moderate to severe OCD.
  • Bed sores (pressure ulcers). Taking carnosine alone or with zinc by mouth might help to speed up the healing of pressure ulcers.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the esophagus caused by radiation therapy. Early research shows that taking zinc-L-carnosine oral solution twice daily reduces the risk of this condition in women with breast cancer who are receiving radiation therapy.
  • Schizophrenia. Taking carnosine by mouth does not seem to make people with schizophrenia feel happier. However, it might help to improve memory.
  • Athletic performance.
  • Aging.
  • Complications of diabetes.
  • Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dry skin.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Obesity.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of carnosine for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Carnosine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most children and adults. However, there can be some rare side effects. These might include dry mouth, changes in appetite, feelings of tiredness, or vivid dreams.

When applied to the skin: Carnosine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. However, there can be some rare side effects. These might include a rash or itchiness.

When given as an enema (rectally): Carnosine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when used as an enema.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if carnosine is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Carnosine might lower blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use carnosine.

Surgery: Carnosine might affect blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking carnosine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Special Precautions and Warnings

We currently have no information for CARNOSINE Precaustions.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for CARNOSINE Interactions.


The appropriate dose of carnosine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for carnosine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.