Carnosine: a versatile antioxidant and antiglycating agent

Sci Aging Knowledge Environ. 2005 May 4;2005(18):pe12. doi: 10.1126/sageke.2005.18.pe12.


Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has recently attracted much attention as a naturally occurring antioxidant and transition-metal ion sequestering agent. It has also been shown to act as an anti-glycating agent, inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Through its distinctive combination of antioxidant and antiglycating properties, carnosine is able to attenuate cellular oxidative stress and can inhibit the intracellular formation of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. By controlling oxidative stress, suppressing glycation, and chelating metal ions, carnosine is able to reduce harmful sequelae such as DNA damage. AGEs are known contributors to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease, and carnosine therefore merits serious attention as a possible therapeutic agent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Carnosine / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Metals / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Transition Elements / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Metals
  • Transition Elements
  • Carnosine