Anserine Reverses Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress and Preserves Cellular Homeostasis in Healthy Men

Nutrients. 2020 Apr 19;12(4):1146. doi: 10.3390/nu12041146.


The study tested whether anserine (beta-alanyl-3-methyl-l-histidine), the active ingredient of chicken essence affects exercise-induced oxidative stress, cell integrity, and haematology biomarkers. In a randomized placebo-controlled repeated-measures design, ten healthy men ingested anserine in either a low dose (ANS-LD) 15, high dose (ANS-HD) 30, or placebo (PLA), following an exercise challenge (time to exhaustion), on three separate occasions. Anserine supplementation increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) by 50% (p < 0.001, effect size d = 0.8 for both ANS-LD and ANS-HD), and preserved catalase (CAT) activity suggesting an improved antioxidant activity. However, both ANS-LD and ANS-HD elevated glutathione disulfide (GSSG), (both p < 0.001, main treatment effect), and consequently lowered the glutathione to glutathione disulfide (GSH/GSSG) ratio compared with PLA (p < 0.01, main treatment effect), without significant effects on thiobarbituric acid active reactive substances (TBARS). Exercise-induced cell damage biomarkers of glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and myoglobin were unaffected by anserine. There were slight but significant elevations in glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and creatine kinase isoenzyme (CKMB), especially in ANS-HD (p < 0.05) compared with ANS-LD or PLA. Haematological biomarkers were largely unaffected by anserine, its dose, and without interaction with post exercise time-course. However, compared with ANS-LD and PLA, ANS-HD increased the mean cell volume (MCV), and decreased the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) (p < 0.001). Anserine preserves cellular homoeostasis through enhanced antioxidant activity and protects cell integrity in healthy men, which is important for chronic disease prevention. However, anserine temporal elevated exercise-induced cell-damage, together with enhanced antioxidant activity and haematological responses suggest an augmented exercise-induced adaptative response and recovery.

Keywords: anserine; cell damage; exercise recovery; haematocrit; nutraceutical; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anserine / administration & dosage*
  • Anserine / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Size / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Disulfide / metabolism
  • Healthy Volunteers*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Hemoglobins
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Anserine
  • Glutathione Disulfide