Jerry Hickey is a pharmacist and radio personality and fills the esteemed role of Scientific Director and President of InVite Health. He has spent his professional career analyzing nutritional information and medical studies with the aim of creating the most natural and highest quality nutraceuticals for the customer’s maximum health benefits. Here, Jerry speaks about the benefits of L-Carnosine.
L-Carnosine defends an aging brain very efficiently and very powerfully. It’s natural to the human body, but levels drop with age. We have these tiny blood vessels in the brain. What happens with them is called microvascular circulation, and the vessels themselves are called capillaries. They’re so small that they’re only the width of one red blood cell. Only one red blood cell can fit in your capillary at a time. Capillaries are extremely important for supplying a lot of our tissues. You can’t get arteries and veins deep into tissues. They’re not going to fit because they’re too big, and supply too much blood at once. So, you need something much smaller to squeeze into your organs and tissues. These are called capillaries and they feed your muscles. Capillaries come out of the arteries in the heart and feed the heart as well. There are little tiny capillaries going all over your heart muscle that feed it oxygen and nutrition and CoQ10 and all these wonderful things. There are tiny little blood vessels at the base of the spine that are called the blood-brain barrier.
At the base of your spine, you have a thick protective filter that consists of millions of these capillaries, wrapping in and out of each other. These twisting, turning, tiny little blood vessels have to retain their health, their resistance and all their ability to work, otherwise harmful chemicals can escape into the brain. So, these capillaries are at the base of the spine and work to keep nasty chemicals and bacteria out of your brain. Imagine if the bacteria from your feces got into your brain – it would eat your brain! That’s what bacteria does. When people get pneumonia, the bacterium is actually consuming parts of their lung. That’s what’s happening when you develop these severe infections.
So, at the base of your spine you have this network of millions of capillaries, these tiny, fragile blood vessels that protect the brain. You have arteries in the neck that break off into veins, smaller blood vessels that break off into capillaries. And these capillaries feed every little part of the brain. L-Carnosine shields these capillaries. As you get older, you start to develop capillary fragility, which is a natural part of aging. Just like in the rest of the body, these capillaries get a little bit weaker. It’s an effective antioxidant in the capillaries that improves their integrity; it keeps you nice and strong so you’ll have good circulation in your brain.
L-Carnosine is an excellent antioxidant for an aging brain because it helps nourish and protect the capillaries and the blood vessels in the brain. It’s an antioxidant in the brain. Antioxidant levels decrease in the brain with age just like they decrease in the eyes. You know, I forget the eyes were attached to the brain; these are the windows unto the world for the brain. So you have a diminishment of antioxidants, a decrease in antioxidant protection in your brain as you age. You never want this, because they protect the brain from oxygen and all these things that can speed up the aging process of cells.
L-Carnosine seems to put the antioxidant level back into effect in the brain. Just like you would use macula to put the antioxidants back in the eyeball, you would use it to put the antioxidants back into the brain. The other thing is that you have the same kind of little blood vessels in your kidneys. Your kidneys are a huge filter. They filter nasty things out of the blood, otherwise these nasty things become very toxic to the body. One of the things it filters out is ammonia. You have this network of tiny little blood vessels called capillaries, but in the kidneys they call it glomerulus. Glomerulus is made out of capillaries and they have to retain their strength too. Carnosine is the best antioxidant defender in the filtering apparatus of your kidneys in these tiny little blood vessels. It stabilizes the tiny little blood vessels that act as a protective barrier at the base of the spine. It keeps bacteria and chemicals out of your brain. Capillaries feed the brain and feed the eye with nutrition and blood and oxygen. Capillaries go into the heart muscle and feed the heart muscle. Capillaries go into your skin and your muscles and feed them with oxygen and nutrition. Capillaries are the filtering agent in your kidneys. This shows you how important these little blood vessels are. They’re called microvascular blood vessels. As you get older, you suffer from microvascular damage. One of the great values of carnosine is it very powerfully shields the microvascular system in aging people and puts the antioxidants back in the brain.
The other thing with L-Carnosine, besides being a terrific antioxidant for the aging brain, is that it’s a wonderful antioxidant for the kidneys. We know so much about antioxidants today. We know lutein is a great antioxidant for the eyes. We know lycopene is a good antioxidant for men’s prostate. We know that milk thistle is a great antioxidant for the liver. And carnosine is a great antioxidant not just for the brain and the eyes, but also for the kidneys. It’s a very powerful shield for the kidneys as you get older.
Beyond that, L-carnosine seems to get rid of wrinkles. They did this wonderful study in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment in July of 2011. A company called Innovative Vision Products did the research down in the county of New Castle in Delaware. They gave it to people with wrinkled skin and over the course of six months it was getting rid of the wrinkles and clearing up their skin.
So, let me explain what was going on there. When you go out in the sun or when you smoke cigarettes or when you eat a lot of sugar, the protein called collagen in your skin gets damaged. And the sugars in your skin, which are called hyaluronic acid, get damaged. When you smoke cigarettes or go out in the sun or eat a lot of sugar or too many calories, the protein in the skin and these chains of sugars get damaged and stick to each other like glue. Believe it or not, that’s what a wrinkle is. A simplistic look and explanation of what a wrinkle is. It’s a folding over and sticking of the proteins and sugars in your skin, the hyaluronic acid chains and the collagen in your skin. They once thought that these bonds that create a wrinkle were irreversible. All you could do is give a Botox injection or some kind of chemical peel or something. Now, we know that you can break the bonds. There is research coming out now that several nutrients, several natural things break the bonds, for instance, lycopene, for instance astaxanthin, the stuff in the krill. And the other thing is carnosine, which powerfully breaks these bonds. They’ve shown that it breaks the bonds in a wrinkle and helps smooth them out in older damaged skin and makes the skin more elastic, the texture more even, less bumpy, thicker and more hydrated. Everything you would want to occur cosmetically is happening, except cosmetics don’t do anything substantial. Cosmetics only make you look younger. When you take the L-Carnosine over the course of six months your skin actually becomes younger.
L-Carnosine is a terrific shield in the brain. You’re putting back the antioxidant levels in the brain with this. It’s a great antioxidant in the eyes and helps protect the little blood vessels in the base of the spine so it’s harder for nasty chemicals to penetrate into the brain. L-Carnosine helps protect the little blood capillaries that nourish the brain that feed the brain oxygen and nutrition and blood. It’s such an excellent antioxidant that it shields these little blood vessels and you have less capillary fragility in the brain.
L-Carnosine is an incredible antioxidant for the kidneys. Anybody who comes in with any kind of kidney issue, I immediately tell them go on it. And it helps with wrinkles in the skin. It seems to break the bond of wrinkles in the skin. Beyond that, it also buffers your muscle. We have a number of elite athletes that I put on carnosine, people who are professional boxers. People who play basketball, football, hockey, all kinds of martial arts, people who run triathlons, etc. We have all kinds of athletes that I put on it, especially as they get older and I’ll tell you why: it buffers the muscle. When people who are out of shape exercise very quickly their muscle becomes acidic. They acidify and their muscle ceases to work properly. Carnosine buffers the muscle so that this doesn’t happen.
We have a pharmaceutical with some additional ingredients that actually improve its effects. It helps with a process called glycation, anti-glycation factors, or in other words protecting your tissues from the sugar you consume in your foods. People consume too much sugar, which sticks onto artery walls and other tissues. It’s a nasty occurrence. It’s part of aging and it’s just something we want to help protect people from.
L-Carnosine defends your muscles. I have aging athletes who really still want to compete and they’re having a lot of fun and they don’t want to give that up and I don’t blame them, but also for people like me that don’t get to the gym as often as we want, it can really help. There’s a certain amount of soreness involved with exercise when it’s rarely done. For an elite athlete, that means that they can compete longer and they’ll have greater endurance. For an elite athlete like a triathlon person or a runner or somebody who does marathons, somebody who lifts weights or somebody that does some kind of extreme sport, carnosine buffers the muscle. It reduces the release of hydrogen ions and protons in the muscle that acidifies it and leads to muscle fatigue, muscle stiffening, muscle soreness and cramping and all this and prevent you from recovering quickly from the last workout. So people that do extreme exercise they have that, but also people who are not fit find the same thing happening to them. If you’re totally fit, your muscles can get acidified very quickly, very early on in your workout and it leads to a poor workout. It’s like hitting a wall. Runners in particular will say, “Yeah, I was running and I hit a wall, I wasn’t tired but my muscles in my shins just stuck and I couldn’t run anymore.” So they got a poor workout. They couldn’t compete and not only that, but there’s a greater risk that they’re going to have muscle soreness and stiffness. Carnosine helps block that by buffering the muscle. And for people who are not totally in shape, if they want to get back to the gym it makes their workout better, and they have greater endurance. It also is an incredibly powerful antioxidant in your kidneys, in your eyes and in your brain, and then the little blood vessels in your brain that suffer from microvascular damage as you age.