Effect of Anserine/Carnosine Supplementation on Verbal Episodic Memory in Elderly People

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(1):149-59. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150767.


Our goal in this study was to determine whether or not anserine/carnosine supplementation (ACS) is capable of preserving cognitive function of elderly people. In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, volunteers were randomly assigned to an ACS or placebo group at a 1:1 ratio. The ACS group took 1.0 g of an anserine/carnosine (3:1) formula daily for 3 months. Participants were evaluated by psychological tests before and after the 3-month supplementation period. Thirty-nine healthy elderly volunteers (60-78 years old) completed the follow-up tests. Among the tests, delayed recall verbal memory assessed by the Wechsler Memory Scale-Logical Memory showed significant preservation in the ACS group, compared to the placebo group (p = 0.0128). Blood analysis revealed a decreased secretion of inflammatory cytokines, including CCL-2 and IL-8, in the ACS group. MRI analysis using arterial spin labeling showed a suppression in the age-related decline in brain blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex area in the ACS group, compared to the placebo group (p = 0.0248). In another randomized controlled trial, delayed recall verbal memory showed significant preservation in the ACS group, compared to the placebo group (p = 0.0202). These results collectively suggest that ACS may preserve verbal episodic memory and brain perfusion in elderly people, although further study is needed.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; anserine and carnosine; cognitive function; dementia; elderly people; inflammatory cytokine; perfusion MRI; randomized controlled trial; verbal memory.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Anserine / pharmacology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Carnosine / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Verbal Learning / drug effects*


  • Cytokines
  • Carnosine
  • Anserine