Prevention of carbonylation

Why are old people, but also animals, visually different from the younger ones?

It is mainly due to protein changes in the organism. Proteins are the most important substances related to the daily functioning of living organisms. Therefore their modification has a dramatic effect on functions and the appearance of the organism. Numerous scientific inquiry tasks of the last decade have focused on protein modification research as the most important causes of aging as a degenerative disease. Thiese modifications (deterioration, changes in the structure) of proteins are the result of the oxidant and glycation processes.

Our bodies are made up mostly of proteins. However, since the antioxidant system of the organism and other protective processes cannot completely protect the proteins, they tend to undergo destructive changes during the life cycle. These changes come due to free radicals, glycation, but also due to the process called carbonylation. In other words, carbonyl  groups (>C=O) bind to the protein (or phospholipid) molecule - and the result is a breakdown of the protein structure in the process called proteolysis. Since protein carbonylation foregoes the loss of cell membrane integrity, it is associated with the toxic processes leading to cellular aging and cell death.

Most protein modification processes, their "de facto" denaturation, proteolysis are caused by oxidation, carbonylation, cross-linking, glycation and AGEs formation as described above. These processes are not only present in aging, but they are also typical for skin aging, cataracts and neurodegenerative processes.

Many scientific studies mark carnosine as an effective substance that acts against all described processes of protein denaturation. Carnosine reacts with the carbonyl group and creates protein-carbonyl-carnosine adduct and thus protects the protein and even turns this process into a process of restoring the damaged protein structure.

How does carnosine do it?

It simply restores normal cell cycle management. For understanding how carnosine works, imagine the following: every "engine" needs a regular oil change, because various microscopic particles and larger particles resulting from abrasion are created whilst the engine runs. The oil contains detergents that keep these particles soluble. Once these detergents are consumed, these waste substances are merged, the smooth surface of the engine is destroyed by waste parts, the engine loses power until it fails completely. The organism also needs an effective method of removing metabolism residues, especially the remnants of the damaged protein structures. This protein "mud, sludge" accumulates - if not removed - in the cell and causes the slowing to ceasing of cellular life cycles. This can also interfere with the normal cell division and perhaps more importantly, allows the next reproduction of this abnormal cell, leading to increased chromosomal instability associated with degenerative changes or malignant tumors. Another possible consequence is the cell aging development when the cell division ceases because of its abrasion. Protein carbonylation becomes a major condition of ending the cellular life cycle. Carnosine is the main factor in maintaining and safeguarding the intact healthy proteins, their functionality and temporary modification. Carnosine is a substance whose effects highly surpass the traditional antioxidants like vitamin E or selenium which are not as effective as we had hoped for in the past. The traditional antioxidants definitely play an important role in the different processes of removing free radicals, but they do not have any effect on carbonylation and glycation. Antioxidants are doubtlessly highly important in the biochemical processes that protect biological structures against damages caused by free radicals, but they do not provide complete protection.

Carnosine is a purely natural, versatile protein protection tool, that has been evolved to manage many factors cooperating in protein degradation processes. Chemical side reactions that disrupt biological structures and function during the aging process are the result of the toxic influence of many intrinsic and essential elements of the organism's chemical composition - oxygen, carbohydrates, lipids, and essential metals. The organism cannot exist without these biochemical substances, but the current nutrition science has recently shown us how to understand their side effects better and thus control them better. As well as proteins, phospholipids are also denatured by carbonylation. Carbonylation of the phospholipid causes damage mostly to the central and peripheral nervous system, resulting in perception and memory disorders. In this case, carnosine is able to protect and regenerate phospholipids from carbonylation in the same way as proteins, so it is no accident that this miraculous dipeptide is an incredibly important neuroprotectant.

In sports and bodybuilding, carnosine takes part in the detoxifying processes - removing harmful reactive aldehydes, formed by lipid peroxidation in skeleton muscles during physical endurance exercises (athletics). Carnosine protects muscles from damage, enhances muscle strength and endurance and significantly speeds recovery after extreme exercise. Please see the following chapters.

Carnosine Extra

Multifunctional protection of the cells

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