Safety evaluation of chicken breast extract containing carnosine and anserine

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Feb;46(2):480-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.08.020. Epub 2007 Aug 23.


Chicken breast extract (CBEX) is obtained via hot water extraction of chicken breast and contains among its primary constituents carnosine and anserine, which are histidine-containing dipeptides present in the muscle tissues of most vertebrate species. Dietary intake of CBEX has been previously shown to buffer hydrogen ions formed during high-intensity exercise in human skeletal muscle cells, thereby inhibiting a decrease in muscle cell pH and subsequent muscle fatigue. The objective of this paper is to report the results of safety studies completed on CBEX. CBEX was determined to have an oral LD(50) value of more than 6000 mg/kg body weight in rats. Gavage doses of 500 or 2000 mg CBEX/kg body weight/day administered to rats for 90 days produced no toxicologically significant, dose-related, differences between control and treated animals with respect to body weight gain, food consumption, behavioral effects, hematological and clinical chemistry parameters, absolute and relative organ weights, or gross and microscopic findings. In the presence or absence of metabolic activation, CBEX exerted no mutagenic activity in the Ames assay conducted in various strains of Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli. The results of these studies support the safety of CBEX as a potential dietary source of carnosine and anserine.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anserine / analysis
  • Anserine / pharmacology
  • Anserine / toxicity*
  • Carnosine / analysis
  • Carnosine / pharmacology
  • Carnosine / toxicity*
  • Chickens
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Female
  • Food
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Male
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Poultry Products / analysis
  • Poultry Products / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Safety
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects


  • Carnosine
  • Anserine