Effects of carnosine supplementation on glucose metabolism: Pilot clinical trial

Barbora De Courten, Michaela Jakubova, Maximilian P J De Courten, Ivica Just Kukurova, Silvia Vallova, Patrik Krumpolec, Ladislav Valkovic, Timea Kurdiova, Davide Garzon, Silvia Barbaresi, Helena J. Teede, Wim Derave, Martin Krssak, Giancarlo Aldini, Jozef Ukropec, Barbara Ukropcova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Carnosine is a naturally present dipeptide in humans and an over-the counter food additive. Evidence from animal studies supports the role for carnosine in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, yet there is limited human data. This study investigated whether carnosine supplementation in individuals with overweight or obesity improves diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Methods In a double-blind randomized pilot trial in nondiabetic individuals with overweight and obesity (age 43 ± 8 years; body mass index 31 ± 4 kg/m2), 15 individuals were randomly assigned to 2 g carnosine daily and 15 individuals to placebo for 12 weeks. Insulin sensitivity and secretion, glucose tolerance (oral glucose tolerance test), blood pressure, plasma lipid profile, skeletal muscle (1H-MRS), and urinary carnosine levels were measured. Results Carnosine concentrations increased in urine after supplementation (P < 0.05). An increase in fasting insulin and insulin resistance was hampered in individuals receiving carnosine compared to placebo, and this remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, and change in body weight (P = 0.02, P = 0.04, respectively). Two-hour glucose and insulin were both lower after carnosine supplementation compared to placebo in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (P < 0.05). Conclusions These pilot intervention data suggest that carnosine supplementation may be an effective strategy for prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1034
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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