Natural supplement could prevent some chronic diseases



Monash researchers are trialing an over-the-counter supplement, carnosine, as a cheap and safe way to treat a wide range of common age and lifestyle-related diseases.

Instead of using medication to improve a single risk factor or disease pathway, Monash University researchers are taking a different tack to disease prevention, testing whether carnosine can target the actual mechanisms that drive several chronic diseases.

More than 2000 studies in animals and cells have shown its beneficial effects in preventing and treating age-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer, and delaying ageing.

Now Victorians can take part in a trial determine the effect of carnosine supplements in healthy individuals and patients with type 2 diabetes at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton. They will test whether those on the supplements have reduced inflammatory markers which are directly associated with chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Background on Carnosine. It is an endogenous dipeptide, found in skeletal muscle, heart and brain. One can get carnosine by ingesting raw meat and fish. The human body required 500 – 3500mg of carnosine for necessary biological effects; however, our daily diets only provide 50 – 250mg of carnosine, which is ten times lower than the daily requirement. Carnosine supplement is therefore available over-the-counter in Europe and USA but not yet in Australia. Several animal and limited human studies suggest carnosine has all the relevant properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-glycation and chelating roles, which are needed for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Carnosine is already emerging as a human therapy in exercise physiology, heart failure and psychiatry.

Professor Barbora de Courten and team are currently conducting comprehensive clinical trials to determine these effects in healthy individuals and patients with type 2 diabetes at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton. You are invited to participate in these studies if you are:

Between 18 and 70
Have pre-diabetes as diagnosed by your GP or Type 2 diabetes (controlled by diet or Metformin only)
Not taking regular medications
Otherwise healthy
Non smoker, non drug takers and non high alcohol intake
Able to attend the clinic in Clayton

If you are interested, please call Josphin Johnson on 0385722629 or email: med-carnosineir@monash.edu.